Ex-Gov. El-Rufai, NAN correspondent, others bag OGP reformers award in Kaduna

Ex-Gov. El-Rufai, NAN correspondent, others bag OGP reformers award in Kaduna


By: Femi  Mustapha


The former Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and Mr Philip Yatai, a Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has bagged the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Civil Society Co-chair’s State Action Plan (SAP) Il  reformers award.

The OGP is a body of international reformers initiated to uphold the characteristics of good governance that has expanded and deepened stakeholders’ engagement in about 96 national and local governments.

This, created the needed cordial environment for civil society organizations (representing the citizens) and the government to view each other as equal partners in progress. This is exemplified in the co-creation process adopted in the development of the National Development Plan (NAP) or State Action Plan (SAP) in the case of sub-nationals.

The awards, presented to the beneficiaries at a valedictory session, was to bid farewell to the outgone  members of the OGP SAP II Steering Committee.

The outgoing Steering Committee Citizens Co-chair, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said the awards was to also to recognise the committee members significant contributions to the partnership.

She added that the award was to acknowledge the reformers who have made outstanding efforts to promote open government principles during their tenure.

Umar noted that they were able  to make some reforms in the five commitment areas of the OGP
during their tenure, which lasted for two years through working with the government and CSO’s.

She mentioned some of their achievements to include the institutionalisation of the Community Development Chatter which gives rural citizens opportunity to contribute to budget processes in the state.

Umar also noted that their tenure made the struggle for the signing of the social protection bill.

“During out tenure, Kaduna was on the global map; we were celebrated in Morocco, we shared our story which OGP translated into Spanish and French.

“The opportunity was open to all the  countries, but only Kaduna took  that challenge and it was launched globally with all OGP partners,”she added.

She further said that their tenure made success through creating a seamless relationship between the Government and CSOs.

“What has never been done was giving the CSOs space in the government’s  transition committee.

“We were given an express assignment to submit actionable recommendation to the Governor himself to ensure the tangible request of Kaduna citizens is taken forward by the incumbent administration,” Umar said.

Speaking at the valedictory session, Mr. Philip Yatai of the NAN, one of the awardees,  said he had in the cause of his 8-years stay in Kaduna, participated actively in governance process which enabled him practice journalism better.

He was  the Citizen’s Co-Chair, OGP Technical Working Group on Strengthening Social Protection Systems in Kaduna State.

He noted that, beyond reporting what the Government was doing, it was crucial  to learn the acts of Governance, understand their weaknesses and finding a way of contributing through the media perspective.

Yatai added that over the years, they were able to make certain commitments and working with the Government to strengthen systems that delivers social protection programmes.

He said they looked into the sustainability of social protection as a tool for addressing multidimensional poverty that affects significant populations of the State.

He thanked the outgone Steering Committee Citizens Co-chair of the award, while pledging to work harder in his areas of endeavour.

Earlier, the  Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission, Mr. Bashir Muhammand, said that civil societies were the bedrock of development of any society.

Muhammand, who was also an awardee, explained that the government only takes ownership of its programmes, policies or projects through collaboration with  the CSOs.

Describing the relationship between the state and the steering committee as cordial, he noted that the successes recorded was as a result of the state development imperatives of synergy and collaboration.

Muhammand thanked the  committee for contributing to the successes achieved in the state, while urging the incoming Committee to sustain and do more to take ownership of engagements in the state.

Awardees from the Planning and Budget Commission  included Hajiya Umma Aboki, Former Commissioner, in the Commission, Badamasi Musa, Director, Planning and Mr Tara Jeremiah, OGP Point of Contact.

Others were Dr Saieed Tafida, OGP Civil Society Advisor,  Mustapha Jumare, immediate past OGP Citizens Co-chair, among others.

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