By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance of efforts to entrench an inclusive governance culture, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has commissioned an Information Communication Technology (ICT) management system christened ‘FCT Citizens’ Engagement Platform’, designed to pave way for greater public participation in the running of Abuja, the nation’s capital city.
Bello noted that effective information dissemination and every opportunity for feedback are priceless in the relationship between the government and the governed.
Represented by the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, at the official presentation of the Platform on Monday, the Minister affirmed that transparency, accountability, and the provision of adequate and timely information to the citizenry are the hallmarks of good governance.
He added that the public unveiling of the platform was a step closer to attaining the objectives of having a robust government/ citizen interface that would ultimately translate into the attainment of a better quality of life for Abuja residents.
Bello, also used the occasion to caution that every great advancement in technology has its drawbacks, noting that the issue of fake news has been identified as one of the flaws of the modern information age.
“It is therefore essential that we leverage technology to reach the people as quickly and as often as possible through a platform that is easy to use, very accessible and above all else, a veritable and trusted means of information which provides an opportunity for feedback.
“The Citizens’ Engagement Platform I am informed is being used very effectively by residents of the FCT in the successful management of COVID-19 and other essential services such as traffic management and provision of security,” he stressed.
Speaking in the same vein, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that the initiative was a clear demonstration of the determination of the present Administration to ease residents’ authority contacts, provide better public services, make governmental internal decision-making processes more efficient, and increase possibilities for public participation in democratic processes.
Represented by the Chief of Staff to FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bashir Mai-Bornu, she said the platform should sustain democracy and good governance especially in this era of reduced public interactions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, a new normal that calls for the rebuilding of all sectors to create change-makers who are ready to face global challenges.
Aliyu, while commending the Acting Director of FCT Reform Coordination and Service Improvement (RCSI) Department, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, and her management team for this developmental stride, called on operatives of the FCTA, to fully adopt and utilise the platform as a fundamental tool in public service delivery.
Earlier in her remarks, RCSI boss, recalled that at the close of 2019, FCTA began the process of designing a platform that could foster engagement with residents, effectively, for better service delivery.
Dr. Ahmadu adds “Our objective is to see them be part of what we do, as it is not possible to administer the city without those whom we are here to serve. Our drive is to reach them anywhere and anytime without hinderance.
“The system is pragmatic and will continue to grow and keep expanding as we continuously engage with you, our residents.
The design and development of the Citizens’ Management platform is mainly to connect with the residents of the Federal Capital Territory to serve them better.
“We are glad to present to you the FCT Citizens’ Engagement Platform; The platform has three distinct features: www.myfctagov.ng for public use; connect.myfctagov.ng for inter-agency collaboration platform for internal use, and FCT Response APP for public and inter agency use”.