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Stakeholders urge states to embrace accountability

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Civil society organisations (CSOs), the media, officials of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and other stakeholders have called on states of the federation to imbibe transparent and accountable government by signing into the OGP and applying the principles.

The campaigners for enhanced democratic ethos in the subnational governments, during a parley at the weekend in Owerri, Imo State, decried non-accountability in some states.

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Imo State government was singled out for part-compliance with the required OGP performance indices in the South East after receiving $300,000 grant from the World Bank and the Federal Government in 2019.

Total package for the year is $18 million if the state government had achieved all the indicators.

Disclosing this during the stakeholders’ engagement on the OGP activities organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (ACLSD) in Owerri, the OGP Adviser, Civil Society, Stanley Acholonu, noted that the grant was made possible because the sacked administration of Emeka Ihedioha signed on to the OGP.

He disclosed that during the seven months Ihedioha held sway as governor before he was sacked by the Supreme Court on controversial circumstances, the key performance indicators, including public disclosure of annual statement of account, the passage of the detailed budget, financial reporting and town hall meetings were met.

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According to the OGP official, 83 countries signed into the partnership, while over 2,000 CSOs were members.

He urged the Imo government to ensure open government, which must be embedded in transparency, and accountability rooted in due process are upheld in the state.

“OGP is domestically-driven. We need to know the state’s budget, procurement, revenue and tax collections, access to information law, budget performance, among others,” he said.

He urged the stakeholders at the forum to ensure reactivation of the OGP processes in Imo. “The responsibility to make this happen is in your hands.”

Executive Director of Centre ACLSD, Monday Osasah, represented by an official of the centre, Uche Arisukwu, re-echoed the gains that would accrue to the states when they sign into the partnership.

He added that the centre had taken the sensitisation to embrace OGP to many states.

At the end of the forum, the stakeholders drafted a State Action Plan (SAP).

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