A communique issued at the end of a round table discussion on Good Governance organized by Stallion Times Media Services on 27th June 2024 at Edgedrive Hotel , Lokoja, Kogi State.

37

 

By Oyibo Salihu, Lokoja

In a bid to encourage accurate active citizens’ participation in governance and push for quality service delivery Stallion Times Media Service organized a Round Table Discussion on Good Governance in Kogi as one of its activities in Year 3 of the 3-year Participatory Governance and Media Literacy project tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-DRIP)” in Kano and Kogi states.

The project is in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism under the Collaborative Media Project with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

The event was attended by civil society organizations, Faith based organizations, women groups, persons with disabilities, Kogi State Open Government Partnership (OGP), state actors, and the media.

OBSERVATION:

1. Governor Usman Ododo committed to organizing town hall meetings during the 2023 November Governorship elections, however 1 year into the administration, there is no documented evidence of these meetings at the Local government and community levels

2. As a sign of its Transparency, Accountability and Participatory focus, Kogi State has now joined the league of States that have joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative

ALSO READ:  Natasha vs Ohere, tribunal reserves judgment.

3. That with increased openness and transparency in management of resources, Kogi State, like other states, has witnessed increased investment and resource mobilization (increased IGR) from slightly over N6.5 Billion in 2016 to over N23.5 Billion in 2023.

4. The State Government has consistently made open its Budget and other financial instruments since 2016 to date. This is commendable.

5. Citizens engagement with government is still sub optimal due to low awareness on role of citizens in governance.

6. Public sector infrastructure Service provision (water, education, health, Agriculture) to Citizen has been below expectation, and is often not targeting the most vulnerable beneficiaries due to weak data management. This is a key factor in the increasing poverty and poor economy growth in the State.

7. The limited meaningful inclusion of persons with Disability in governance is manifest with the poor implementation of the Disability Office Law which has led to the head of the Office been a person without Disability. This has negated the proposed gains from the 2019 state disability law.

ALSO READ:  Dangote products excite participants at Kano Trade Fair

During the presentations and plenary sessions participants resolved that;

• Townhall meetings with community members should be organized on a quarterly basis with the Ministry of Finance budget and Economic Planning, and the Ministry of Information and Communication and other relevant MDAs coordinating the process. This could be made more impactful if the Governor is present at the meeting.

• Government should expand services in water, roads, electricity and agricultural input provision to citizens and these should be given priority in the Budget formulation and implementation based on quality data.

• Citizens and Civil Society Organizations must continue to engage consistently and strategically with Government and the private sector for effective governance in the state. This can be achieved through effective capacity building and increased orientation.

ALSO READ:  Kogi Assembly threatened to issue warrant of arrest on MD Sterling Bank

• Governments and Citizens (led by Civil Society Organizations) in Kogi State must continue to engage using Permanent Dialogue Mechanisms (PDM) such as the Kogi Accountability Platform (KAP) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) for improved Accountability and Transparency in Governance

• There is need for improvement in the revenue generation capacity of the State from the current N23.5 Billion, to provide for sustainable service provision and insulation from economic shocks

• The Amendment of the Disability Office Law to ensure that only qualified Persons with Disability heads the Office is crucial. This would give PWD an enhanced sense of belonging in the affairs that concern them.

Signed:

—Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina —Isiyaku Ahmed
Chairman, KONGONET/Co-Chair, Project Coordinator, G-DRIP, Stallion Times
NSA, OGP Kogi State
—Hamza Aliyu
Interim Chairman, Kogi Accountability Platform (KAP)




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Us Now!