By Lucky Isibor,
Stakeholders in Edo state comprising members of civil society organizations, journalists, non-governmental organizations, the bar and representatives of government ministries, departments and agencies, converged on Benin City, the state capital to review and validate the State Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Open Government Partnership is a global multi- stakeholder initiative focused on improving government’s transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens.
Nigeria joined OGP as the 70th member country in 2017 and Edo state Government joined in 2018.
In his opening remarks, the Edo state focal person for OGP, Mr. Innocent Edaemharia urged participants to scrutinize the State Action Plan (SAP) which was deveoped at a retreat held between 8th- 10th August and make inputs where necessary.
Elaborating on why the state government joined OGP, Edaemharia said, “OGP brings together government and non-state champions of reforms who recognize that governments are likely to be more effective and credible when they open governance to public input and oversight”.
Earlier in June, preliminary sensitisation workshops were held for state and non-state actors in Edo state to improve the knowledge of stakeholders on the OGP process and their roles in the implementation of OGP at state levels.
The draft SAP which was crafted around four thematic areas of fiscal transparency, anti- corruption, access to information, citizens engagement and service delivery and inclusion, also included new bills to be initiated for passage into laws to strengthen open governance in Edo state.
High point of the occasion attended by about one hundred participants was the validation of the State Action Plan of OGP after the necessary inputs and amendments by the stakeholders