The Delta State Civil Society Organizations Forum (DELCOF), umbrella body of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-State Actors in Delta State, has joined other stakeholders to commemorate the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the State.
Speaking to Journalists, the Chairman of DELCOF, Dr. Agboro Andrew, expressed his gratitude to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s government for signing into the OGP network, stating that Delta state had been faced with the challenge of effective utilization of its resources to promote sustainable economic growth, effective service delivery and social cohesion.
He said, “One of the major driving forces of development blockade is lack of openness, transparency and accountability in governance.”
He added, “If government and citizens embrace open government principles in a tailored stakeholder engagement, then the blockades will be dealt with and reform will take place, leading to effective policy, effective budget and effective implementation,” adding that the move by the Okowa’s administration to join the Open Government Partnership is a commendable one.
Dr. Agboro further stated, “OGP provides support and encouragement to countries around the world as they champion ambitious new reforms and deliver on their promises under the watchful eyes of citizens.”
He added, “DELCOF will introduce open data collection tool on corrupt practices using the Global Data Barometer to explore and report trends across nine policy areas to engender improvement, and provide recommendations for future OGP commitments.”
Continuing, he advised CSOs and other non-state actors in the State to stay focused on the OGP and not to give their energy to some unscrupulous individuals politicizing the process for their selfish purpose and personal gains, stating that such class of persons usually forment trouble to thwart development in the state.
Also speaking, a foundational member of OGP in Delta State, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, said that the partnership aims to co-create and facilitate effective citizens participation in government activities and decisions in order to meet basic open data standards, stating that the OGP set rules, regulations, and mechanisms in place that call on government actors to justify their bill, act on criticisms or requirements made of them and accept responsibility for failure to perform.
According to him, the OGP seeks to mobilise citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to more responsive and effective governance.
Building on this Chief Sheriff Mulade, BOT Chairman of DELCOF, advised the co-ordinating secretariat, relevant MDAs, and citizens groups to implement the State Action Plan effectively and efficiently.
“Citizens and citizens groups need to advocate and campaign for adherence to the principles of Open Government Partnership that the government has voluntarily signed,” he stated.