Open government: Plateau governor, Lalong vows inclusiveness, transparency

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By Anthony Maliki

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has inaugurated the steering committee for the Open Government Partnership, popularly known as OGP.

The Group has hundreds of members comprising of Government non-governmental jurisdictions in 78 countries.
This follows the admission of the State last year into the global organisation that promotes good governance working with reformers inside and outside of government to transform how government serves its citizens.
Governor Lalong who was represented at the inauguration by Secretary to the Government of Plateau State Prof. Danladi Abok Atu explained that the State was delighted to join the OGP which is an organization that brings together governments and civil society leaders to create more transparent, inclusive, and participatory government.
He said his Government continues to embrace all initiatives to promote prudence, transparency, accountability and people driven-resource management in order to give value to the lives of its citizens.
The Governor said apart from implementing the Treasury Single Account, the Government has ensured that government resources are saved through the Efficiency Unit. Others are the Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Unit (PMRDU), Bureau for Public Procurement, and compliance with State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS).
He said some of these qualities facilitated the admittance of Plateau State among the only two jurisdictions to be selected to join OGP in 2020. He reiterated his personal commitment to the rules and values of transparency, accountability and collaboration, conscious of the fact that the government is a product of collective citizens’ action.
“We hinged our participation in the OGP Local Programme on Five Thematic Areas that align with our Development Strategy, as follows: Citizens Engagement, Fiscal Transparency, Peace and Security, Gender and Open Contracting. We believe that our membership of the OGP will further enhance transparency in governance while facilitating constructive citizens’ engagement that will in turn transform our public service and accelerate economic development” he said.
Commissioner for Special Duties, Inter-Governmental Affairs & NGOs Hon. Irimiya Jerry Werr said having received this OGP membership, it is now time for Plateau State to justify the trust of the international community and match words with action.
The Steering Committee which is a Multi Stakeholder Forum, made up of fourteen persons, comprising seven government officials and six members of the Plateau State Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Forum, with the Focal Person serving as the Secretary. This Committee is co-chaired by Dr. John Jinung Co-Leader, Plateau State Civil Societies Forum while each of the five thematic areas has a Technical Working Group (TWG) co-chaired by the remaining members.
The membership of the Plateau State OGP Steering Committee is as follows:

S/N Role Government Non-Governmental Partner
1 Steering Committee Co-Chairs Hon. Irimiya Jerry Werr
Commissioner for Special Duties, Inter-Governmental Affairs & NGOs Dr. John Jinung
Co-Leader, Plateau State Civil Societies Forum
2 Fiscal Transparency Working Group Co-Chairs Hon. Sylvester Wallangko
Commissioner for Budget & Economic Planning Ms. Yop Rwang Pam
Reboot Design (Development Partners)
3 Gender Working Group Co-Chairs Mr. Haggai Gutap
Director-General, Plateau State Micro-Finance Dev Agency Mrs. Jessica Bankat
Country Women Association of Nigeria (COWAN)
4 Peace and Security Working Group Co-Chairs Mr. Joseph Lengman
Director-General, Plateau State Peace Building Agency Mr. Mugu Zaka Bako
Plateau Peace Practitioners Network
5 Citizens Participation Working Group Co-Chairs Mr. David Dasser
Director-General, Plateau State Information & Communication Technology Development Agency Mr. Manji Wilson
European Centre for Electoral Support
6 Open Contracting Working Group Co-Chairs Mr. Peter Dogo Yilkangha
Director-General, Plateau State Bureau for Public Procurement Prof. (Mrs) Patricia Lar
University of Jos
7 Point of Contact Persons (POC) Engr. David Jaafaru Wuyep
Chief Technical Advisor – PMRDO
Cmrd. Peter Gad Shamaki
Co-Leader, Plateau State Civil Societies Forum

The Terms of Reference of the Committee are as follows:

a. Drive the co-creation of the State OGP Action Plan 2021 – 2023;

b. Set up and manage Technical Working Groups for the Thematic Areas identified by the State;

c. Monitor the implementation of the Action Plan by the State Government for the fulfilment of the commitments made therein;
d. Engage with the OGP International Team for Independent Review Mechanism

e. Engage with the OGP National Office whenever necessary; and

f. Carry out any other assignment directed to it for the promotion of the values of the OGP in the State.

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