(Co-chair, Mallam Jumare addressing the participants during a one-day dialogue with top media executives in Kaduna on OGP. The meeting was facilitated by PERL-ECP)
NIGERIA – Nigeria is among the countries that signed into Open Government Partnership (OGP), a platform that seeks to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance in Nigeria.
Fortunately, Kaduna State is among the 15 local participants (states under member country) that key into this global system that promotes citizens’ input in governance and already doing well in this regard.
It is against this backdrop that an international non-governmental organisation called Partnership to Engage, Learn and Reform under its Engage Citizens Pillar (PERL-ECP) brought media executives in Kaduna together to see how they can properly include OGP in their media contents to reach and educate more natives.
In his presentation during the dialogue meeting with media at a hotel in Kaduna, Federal Facilitator, PERL-ECP, Dr. Otive Igbuzor said, media has a critical role to play if the programme will succeed noting that, the role of media must go beyond attending events and being fed with information.
According to him, one of the key responsibilities of journalists in OGP was monitoring of government and citizens to ensure everyone do the right thing at the right time.
“All over the world, there is decline in governance and the media must play its role by holding government accountable to the people through factual and accurate accounts of happenings around them.
“The role of the media which include but not limited to educate, inform, entertain, create awareness, monitor, agenda setting and hold government to account are still relevant today.
“ow are these roles being played? what are the challenges? how can the role be played better? what can be done differently? He queried.
He continued, “government and citizens need to change their mindset and approach to governance and development. Capacity building to implement the National Action Plan and State Action plan is critical.
“Engagement of citizens in the OGP process is key to effective and efficient implementation of OGP in Nigeria. Message from OGP summit in Georgia indicates that there is the need for shift in the areas of improving services, citizen participation and rebuilding trust in government”, he stated.
Otive then commended Kaduna State for taken the lead in the country as the first Sub-national to join the global National OGP saying, Kaduna is one of the leading state in the world with the eyes and ears social media application in terms of transparency, which is already contributing a lots to the global OGP process.
Earlier in a remark, Chairman, Committee on Information and Home Affairs, Hon. Nuhu Goro Shadalafiya, commended the media for their responsive reportage of activities in Kaduna state.
“Am always proud anywhere I found myself because am from a state that is practicing an open government”, he said.
With this development in Kaduna state, citizens will now participate actively in budget processes through co-creation and their local government so that only prioritised projects will be executed as against the stereotype that existed over the years.
The OGP co-creation means government on one hand and citizens on the other hand. Presently, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Abdullahi Dattijo and Mallam Jumare are the co-chairs with 40 other members 20 from each pillar expected to contribute equally towards the success of the programme in the state.
Some of the media that were represented at the meeting include Gobroadsheet, Newsweb Express, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Liberty Radio and Television, Invicta Radio and Television, Kaduna State Media Corporation (KSMC), Freedom Radio, Salama Radio among others.