Ganduje’s Remarks: Launching Open Government Partnership
Speech By His Excellency the Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje During the Inauguration of State Steering Committee and Action Plan on Open Government Partnership (OGP), held At Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, on Friday 31st August, 2018
It gives me great pleasure and unalloyed commitment to stand before you for the inauguration of the Kano State Steering Committee and Action Plan of the all-impressive and all-important Open Government Partnership (OGP). This brings into fruition many efforts put between the state and some committed civil societies.
Since inception, we made it categorically clear that, our administration would be up and doing in making sure that governance at all levels in the state becomes transparent, accountable and wide open. Where citizen access to government affairs would be stretched to all listening ears. With this we promote openness and citizen participation, as well as access to public information.
We, as the case being with the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari, abhor any corrupt tendencies and behaviours. As always being championed by our dear President. We have already resolved to fight corruption to standstill.
Even before the coming up of OGP, our administration found it necessary to strengthen institutions with the necessary requisites to build stronger society devoid of corruption and other related societal ills. That was why we decided to appoint somebody who is known for high level anti corruption stance to head the state anti-graft body, Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Hence, the appointment of Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado as the Executive Chairman of this Commission. The activities of the Commission, have all along, being striving to rid the state of corruption and other societal abuses. It is indeed the confidence we have in the activities of the Commission and other similar encouraging experiences that spearheaded our romance with the OGP initiative.
With the commitment of the state anti corruption body, alongside other committed civil society organisations, development partners and individuals, we were able to held many talks and discussions on the OGP initiative. As some of you may be aware, Nigeria became the 70th participating county on July 2016.
While the whole idea of OGP was officially launched on September 20th, 2011, on the demand of 8 world nations under the umbrella of the United Nations General Assembly. Since after Nigeria’s official engagement as a family of OGP, we followed suit just to copy from the good and giant strides of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is equally important to understand that, we joined the Open Government Partnership to deepen Institutional Reforms, fight corruption, grant citizens’ right of access to public records and information and to enable citizens to effectively participate in governance.
After series of engagements by our responsive steering committee, under the co-chairmanship of the executive chairman of the state anti corruption body, the Action Plan becomes a reality.
Our support and commitment towards genuine implementation of the validated Action Plan, is what informed our decision to sign the OGP Executive Order. I am also assuring you that, with the strong anti-corruption institutions in the state, we will be able to perform optimally in the areas of fight against corruption, access to information by citizens and citizens engagement in governance. All within the parameters of global best practices.
Our being the first state in the federation that signs the Executive Order, that onerous commitment signifies our firm belief in making sure that our spendings, as a government, is being tracked and that our concern for citizen participation is real and encouraged. I also learned that, in the whole of West African sub-region, Kano state is the only government that signs this laudable Executive Order. In fact not many countries at the global level signs this document. As OGP has over 100 participating countries.
It did not stop at signing of the Executive Order, but we made it gazetted. Another giant step forward.
We believe that the government and people of Kano state are desirous of securing improved public service delivery, increased public integrity, more effective management of public resources, safe communities and an effective platform for continuous interaction between the government and the citizens.
As a leading commercial and investment hub in Nigeria, we are unflinching in our resolve to ensure the practice of Open Government, Anti-Corruption and Freedom of Information. This we believe we can do and we will do it.
For effective implementation we accept that, all MDAs shall develop, regular update and widely disseminate an Open Government Partnership and Access to Information compliance policy and framework which will, among other things, indicate steps and outline direction, strategies and initiatives undertaken by the MDA in implementing the provisions of this Order and any relevant legislation.
We are aware of the four key principles of the OGP, being transparency, accountability, citizen participation and technology and innovation. Under transparency, it is where information on government activities and decisions will be open and freely available to the public. Accountability signifies a situation where government will always be accountable to the society for any actions. We are always ready for that.
Citizen participation is where actions will be given all the opportunity to be providing input for governance, which will in turn gives room for responsive and effective governance. Whereas the fourth principle technology and innovation, means a space where government places priority on the relevance and importance of new technologies that will in turn drive innovation, which will eventually gives citizen open access to technology with an increasing space to use technology.
With the signing of the Executive Order, Kano will fully implement the Open Government Patnership (OGP) principles in its reform agenda. Every Ministry, Department or Agency (MDAs) and every public institution in Kano state shall establish an office and appoint suitably trained officials as Open Government and Access to Information Officers to ensure the effective and accountable implementation of this Order.
We did not relent in our effort when we chose the chairman of the state anti-graft body, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, to take the overall responsibility of ensuring effective administration and implementation of Kano State’s Open Government and Access to Information regime in all public institutions in the state in collaboration with office of the Head of Service as well as ministry of justice.
Kano wants to be among other global communities where OGP performance is rated high. Because of embracing principles of transparency and open government with a view to achieving greater prosperity, well-being, and human dignity in our societies and in an increasingly interconnected world communities.
For us to particularly consolidate the full entrenchment and implementation of the Order, the state government is inaugurating the State Steering Committee and Action Plan today. This also means a smooth stage is set for the full implementation of all the fundamentally recognised four key principles and thematic areas.
Thank you for listening and God Bless