By Femi Mustapha
Kaduna State Government has lauded the healthy and cordial working relationship between government and civil societies partners in the state.
The State Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Mohammed Sani Dattijo asserted this while addressing Participants at the 2021 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global summit hosted by the Republic of Korea.
He noted that such relationship
has made the Kaduna government work easier in several ways.
Datijjo said the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously limited the traditional structures for civic space and public participation, however noted that the state was able to work around this challenge by organizing and promoting virtual engagements.
“We have successfully leveraged these to organize these engagements on community Development Charters, Budget Town Hall Meetings, Public hearings.
We have also been able to institutionalize Citizens’ participation in Government decision-making by establishing and promoting a basket of platforms such as the Eyes and Ears Citizens Feedback App, Toll-free line, Gani Ya Kori Kiji Hausa Radio program, Social media Handles, among others”.
‘Kaduna state is being celebrated globally as a champion of citizens engagement with the Eyes and Ears Citizens Engagement Story which will be showcased at this year’s summit as one of the ‘Big Stories’ of Governments doing things differently through innovation”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the State Governor Mallam Nasir El-rufai said the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the lives of the poor and vulnerable, people living with Disability, and his government is working round the clock to improve their lives.
He said the state will continue to do so by strengthening the Institution which will protect and cater for them.
The Governor who explained that Kaduna state is the first to sign the OGP pact, noted that its Action Plan 2021 to 2023 has provided five commitment areas, namely; Open Budgeting, Open Contracting, Citizens Engagement, Strengthening Social Protection, and Improving service delivery in Education and Healthcare.
To achieve this, he said relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies(MDAs) have been mandated to prioritize implementation of activities in these commitment areas.
On the theme titled” Strengthening civic space and public participation, tackling anti-corruption, and promoting inclusive digital innovation”, he said, civic space in Kaduna is one of the most active in the country and the quality of engagement has been most active in the country, cordial and productive, explaining that is the evidence in the co-creation of commitment and implementation of actions plans.
“We will continue to broaden the civic space and engage with citizens on all fronts to improve their trust in government”.
In her welcome address, the Co-Chair, Citizens, Hadiza Umar said this year’s summit speaks to their hearts as civil Society.
She assured the gathering that they will continue to ensure that Government remains responsible to the people.