…Gov advocates use of technology, stakeholder engagement to improve transparency, accountability in governance
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has applauded Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for leading the campaign on open governance in the South-South region with his administration’s implementation of policies which promote transparency and accountability in governance.
The Deputy Executive Director, ANEEJ, Mr. Leo Atakpu, made the submission during a meeting between the governor and members of the State Steering Committee on Open Government Partnership, at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.
He noted, “Governor Obaseki is the first governor in the South-South who signed on to the Open Governance Partnership (OGP). The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state are happy with the development, ease of doing business, access to government information and justice reforms in the state.”
Responding, Governor Obaseki said that his administration is running a transparent and accountable governance to build and win the trust of Edo people, adding that the state government signed and deployed open government portal in partnership with the World Bank eight years ago.
He said, “Our emphasis as a government is to go back to OGP, reopen it and feed the portal with information from across various spectrum of governments. Our premise rests on the principle underlying the open government initiative. We believe that we must run government transparently to build and win the trust of our people, to be able at any point in time, tell them what we are doing in terms of resources that come into the state and what we are doing and how we spend the state’s resources.”
Obaseki added that his administration is working hard on deploying energy and resources on the easy of doing business in the state, embracing Information Communication Technology (ICT) to make the process easy and transparent which will enable his administration to be accountable to the people.
He averred that the fundamentals to open government is opening up the process and procedures within government itself, noting that, technology will play a major role in enabling the process, which is why his administration has adopted the use of ICT for transparency and accountability.
Obaseki advocated for synergy between government and relevant stakeholders including civil servants in the state for the OGP partnership process to work.
He said his administration will create the system and environment and also build capacity to drive the process, noting “As a government, our focus this year is to train and retrain public servants. Every individual that works for the government must be trained on what to do and the components underlying open government partnership.”
Earlier, the chairman of the Steering Committee who is also the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe said OGP is a body composed of different stakeholders who are committed to transparency and anti-corruption at the international level.
She said Nigeria as a country signed the OGP in July 2016 as the 70th sovereign state, adding that only few states like Kaduna, Lagos, Anambra, Edo states, are signatory to OGP.
She said in line with OGP, Edo State has improved in the Ease of Doing Business, and has policies targeted at improving transparency, accountability and integrity, and good governance between government and citizens.