As part of its measures to ensure transparency and make its government accountable to the citizens, the Kaduna State government has joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and has adopted the e-procurement model where contracts are published online and open to citizens.
Umma Aboki, the state’s Commissioner of Planning and Budget, explained that Kaduna took the steps to ensure citizens’ engagement and transparency in governance, being the first subnational government to sign the OGP.
Speaking at the Ihifix Digital Summit for Development 2022, organised by the Ihifix Innovation Foundation, with support from Arewa Research and Development Project, Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, CALPED, Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL) among others, she stated that the state government has strengthened the social protection system in the state to ensure that its social registers are ready for anyone coming in with an intervention in the state to improve the poverty indices and service delivery in education and health services.
She added: “There is WhatsApp group where eyes and ear volunteers in the 23 local governments can report on projects within their communities, to improve the monitoring process.”
Aboki noted that the unveiling of the app is a welcome development in Kaduna and another step by citizens to call for accountability and transparency from the government while commending the management of Ihifix for organising the summit.
Jeremiah Tera, the Point of Contact (POC) OGP in the Planning and Budget Commission, explained that the state commenced the implementation of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) of the federal government aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and citizen participation in governance in 2017.
He believed that the step would improve the state’s ability to attract foreign investment and enhance access to additional development funds, saying that the state subscribed to the OGP principally to improve fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizens’ engagement and empowerment.