Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, further demonstrated his administration’s commitment to open governance, transparency, accountability and citizens’ engagement with the inauguration of the steering committee of Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The OGP is an international multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at promoting open governance, citizens’ empowerment, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen governance in member states.
Fayemi, who inaugurated the committee at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, said the OGP initiative was in consonance with his restoration agenda as clearly spelt out in the five pillars of his administration.
The steering committee which is to be coordinated by the Commissioner for Budget, Hon Femi Ajayi, had the Director General Office of Transformatiin and Service Delivery ( OTSD), Prof. Mobolaji Aluko; Special Adviser, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr O’seun Odewale; Permanent Secretary (Finance) Mr Folorunso; Permanent Secretary (Budget) Mr Adeleke Adefolaju; Accountant General, Mrs Titilayo Olayinka and Special Adviser (CSO), Mr Biodun Oluleye.
Others include Prof. Oluwadare CT, Olafunsho Olajide from Disability Not a Barrier Initiative; President, Ekiti Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Chief Kola Akosile; and Representative of the Institution of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mrs Agbaje.
Members of the steering committee, according to the Governor, were selected from civil society organizations, professional bodies, youth parliaments, public service and other interest groups in order to ensure more commitment from government to promote open governance, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen governance in Ekiti State.
The Governor explained that his administration has always prioritised inclusion of the needs and aspirations of towns and communities in the State’s annual budgets, adding that the OGP initiative would increase collaboration between government and other stakeholders to improve the standard of living of the people in the state.
He said: ”The Open Government Partnership initiative will also promote more collaboration work within government by promoting mutual accountability, information sharing and coordination among MDAs. This will promote efficiency in government and delivery of the goals of the five pillars.”
Fayemi explained that OGP would further strengthen his administration’s reforms in open budget, open contracting, revenue transparency, beneficial ownership transparency, assets disclosure, access to information, citizens’ engagement and empowerment.
Noting that Ekiti was the first State to join OGP in South-western Nigeria, Fayemi expressed delight that his administration’s efforts at deepening good governance and embracing inclusive participation are gaining recognition not only in the country but at international level.
He said; “As a responsible government, we have always insisted that all government functionaries demonstrate the understanding of accountability and transparency in their various activities. The policy areas are the right to information, gender and inclusion, digital governance and rights, protection of civic space and natural resources and fight against corruption.
“The OGP was launched in 2011 with eight (8) founding member government. In July, 2016 Nigeria, through the efforts of Open Alliance, joined the partnership as 70th member country. To deepen on-going institutional and policy reforms in Ekiti State, we applied for membership of Open Government Partnership in October, 2019, the application was graciously approved.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Development, Mr Femi Ajayi, stated that the initiative involves engaging citizens in issues of government adding that the benefits of the partnership was enormous.
Ajayi said that such partnership, if well coordinated would cement the already cordial relationship between the government and the civil society.