By Abdallah el-Kurebe
#TrackNigeria: Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Edo have commended Governor Godwin Obaseki-commitment to transparency, accountability and sustainable development.
The submission was made at a One-Day Social Accountability Stakeholders’ Conference organised by Policy House International in commemoration of the governor’s birthday.
With a theme, “Social Accountability: Understanding its Challenges, Opportunities and Developing Mechanism for Better Service Delivery”, the civil society movement said Obaseki had displayed a keen knack for transparency, which was portrayed by his openness, transparency and accountability to Edo people.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Taiwo Akerele said the governor had a mandate to work for the people and would continue to prioritise their interest and welfare above other interests.
“We are not afraid to give accounts to the people. We are always ready to deliver on our promises to the people and make life better for them,” he said.
“Governor Obaseki insists that he was elected by the people and will only be accountable to the people. He will be responsible and accountable to them. It is in his best interest to enhance social accountability principles and promote transparency, so that the people will have confidence in the system.”
He called on the citizens to explore existing tools of social accountability to hold government responsible for its decisions and policies, noting that some of the tools include the Freedom of Information Act (FoI); the Public Procurement Law, Fiscal Responsibility Law, and through civil society groups.
Executive Director, African Network For Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor commended the Edo state government for signing on to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and inaugurating the steering committee on OGP.
“This move has provided us the opportunity to co-create policies that will sustain accountability and transparency in Edo State. We need to engage the government to enable it discharge its responsibility effectively,” he said.
Manager of Policy House International and organiser of the event, Isaac Noble said the programme would make citizens hold government accountable and demand better representation.
“Better representation will be achieved through transparency and by creating a very effective system through which the people can be empowered,” he noted.