By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Osun state, on Thursday organized a sensitisation programme for the people of the state on importance and implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative in order to promote accountability in governance.
The sensitisation programme which took place at Multi Purpose Hall, Olorunda Local Government Osogbo, had in attendance representatives of law enforcement agencies, anti corruption agencies, civil society groups, traditional and religious bodies, government departments and agencies, market men and women among others.
Speaking, Mrs Yomi Olasinde, the Acting Director, National Orientation Agency, Osun State described the Freedom of Information Act and OGP documents as procedures that are important to the nation.
Olasinde hinted that the essence of the sensitisation programme was to rub mind on the desirability of openness and accountability as essential aspects of governance.
Olasinde, said the documents, aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in governance using the two documents stipulations.
According to the Director, NOA started sensitisation programmes to create awareness on importance and implementation of the documents.
She explained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues of accountability, fiscal transparency, fight against corruption, peace, security and openness in government business and transactions as cardinal goals of his government.
She noted that the the President singed up OGP principle to provide international platform for domestic reforms including government organs, civil societies and private sectors.
She said: “On 27 the July, 2016 the administration of President Muhammad Buhari , in line with his declared and avowed commitment to fight corruption , promote transparency and accountability in governance signed up to the Open Government Partnership Principles in order to foster rapid development and inclusive growth. Nigeria became the 70th member to join other countries in 2016 to signed up to OGP.
”NOA as the leading agency for the implementation of some commitments of OGP action plan has developed dialogue mechanism of transparency, accountability and good governance.
”All these are implemented between citizens and government to facilitate a culture of openness,” Olasinde said.
Speaking on the objectives of OGP principles, the Director said the OGP principles was singed to promote citizens engagement and empowerment for good governance, to facilitate a culture of openness and transparency in government business and create awareness and understanding of the provision of the FOI Act 2011.
The Director further enunciated that the OGP principles helps in enlightening the public about the right and responsibilities under FOI Act and to enlighten the populace about Open Partnership principles and how it can be used to make governance responsive to citizens need.
In a lecture on FOI, Mr Bukola Idowu from Kimpact Development Initiative said , said that constitution guaranteed citizen’s rights to demand for accountability in government activities as officials are public servants.
Represented by Mr Ajala Adetunji, Idowu said the FOI had provided increased access, demands and restrictions which accorded lawful flow of actions and inactions between individuals and groups aimed at facilitating better lives of citizens.
Another speaker, Barr Kayode Titiloye, Director , Commercial and Legal Drafting, Ministry of Justice , dwelled on OGP principles and manners of implementation.
Discussions were held on application of the documents and sharing of knowledge by participants.
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