A non-governmental organization, the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), through its Niger Delta coordinator, Mr. Foster Akpore, has called on the Delta state government to embrace open government partnership (OGP).
He made this call while speaking at an interactive public event tagged: ‘OKOWA LOVES URHOBO NATION’ organized by Activist Rex Ekiugbo Anighoro, special assistant to the governor on civil society and civic engagement held on Wednesday, 14th November at Kayriott Hotel, Effurun, Delta state.
Mr. Akpore, while urging Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration to key into the initiative so as to reap the benefits of the global mechanism for good governance, disclosed that 29 states in Nigeria, Delta inclusive, have not signed in to the open government partnership initiative that is devised to enhance good governance by promoting openness and curtail secrecy in government businesses and activities.
Explaining further, he said that Delta state, being a state that is reputed for achieving many record-breaking firsts, as evidenced by the fitting and popular cliché “Delta nor dey carry last”, should be in the forefront of states that have embraced the open government partnership, as she is currently trailing behind other states that have signed into this international initiative that “promotes transparency, empowers citizens, fights corruption and harnesses new technologies to strengthen governance.”
According to him: “OGP is an international initiative introduced in 2011. Nigeria was formally admitted into OGP in July 2016. The national action plan was approved in December 2016 and the implementation started in January 2017.
Kaduna state was the first state that signed into OGP at the sub-national level, but at the moment, seven states including Kano, Ebonyi, Anambra, Niger, Abia, Enugu and Kaduna have signed into the OGP while Kogi, Jigawa and Bauchi have indicated their interest to sign into the initiative.”
He charged active citizens, the media, members of the civil society organizations through the Delta state NGO Forum, whose chairman, Mr. Okezi Odugala, was present at the meeting to identify with the OGP initiative to make necessary moves to encourage the Delta state governor to sign into the OGP without further delay.
In a related development, Mr. Akpore further expressed the willingness of Centre LSD to partner with the government on the environment, stating that so far, the centre has been taking environmental education to different communities and schools across Delta state, with the set up of Students/ Community Environmental Clubs in over ten secondary schools.
High point of his brief address was his presentation of resource materials on the OGP to the governor of Delta state through his special assistant on civil society and civic engagement, Activist Rex Anighoro.