OGP Nigeria: National Coordinator calls for Stakeholders Collaboration to Achieve Participatory Budgeting

The National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Dr. Gloria Ahmed, has reiterated that one of the key commitments of Nigeria’s membership in the OGP is to build a better relationship between government and the Civil Society, by creating various avenues of engagements and collaborations in the spirit of co-creation.

While delivering a keynote address during a one day Citizen’s Open Dialogue on Participatory Budgeting and Planning for OGP-Local held in Abuja recently, Dr. Ahmed commended the Development for Educational Action Network (DEAN) Initiative for their unrelenting commitment to push for the adoption and implementation of OGP principles in the Sub-National level, particularly at the Local Government and Area Councils.

She revealed that the budget is a veritable tool, not only for propelling national growth and development, but also for stimulating participatory budgeting which provide citizens the opportunity to identify and prioritize projects and programmes for the fiscal year; thereby deepening democratic culture in the society.

In her words, “In 2022, the Federal Government through the then Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning constituted the Participatory Budget Advisory Group, chaired by my humble self, the group held consultative fora in geopolitical zones with technical support from the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency; these meetings received and collated citizens' preferred method of participation in the budgetary process. The report on this engagement was forwarded to the Budget Office of the Federation. This further strengthened Nigeria's resolve to engage with citizens in every budget cycle and ensured that the budget itself has the foot prints of a co-created document.”

While delivering his welcome address, the Executive Director, Center LSD, Mr. Monday Osasah, informed participants that about 26 states have been visited while executing their OGP State Action Plans; he urged the government to focus more on citizens budgeting; saying the Local Government Council need to have a human face at the grass-root level for maximum participation.

Mr. Osasah who was represented by the Programme Officer of the Center, Mr. Lawal Amodu therefore pushed for a participatory budgetary process as it is in agreement with democracy.

The immediate past Chairman of the AMAC Area Council, Hon. A.A Candido, while speaking, revealed that AMAC joined the OGP because it is people centered, he extolled the role of OGP during his tenure as the Council Chairman, saying OGP brought a lot of solutions to the Council, he said he was able to deliver the people’s priorities.

He reiterated that the budget is expected to be transparent, accountable, people oriented and available for easy perusal by citizens.

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