Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi state, has launched the State’s Action Plan (SAP) 2023-2025 of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The governor applauded the co-chairs and members of the steering committee for their commitment and efforts that resulted in the development of the maiden plan.
Speaking at the launch of the plan on Thursday at the council chambers of the Government House, Bauchi, Mohammed said the state’s OGP plan would focus on the four commitment areas, including access to information; citizens’ engagement; fiscal transparency and strengthening social protection system.
The special adviser on media and publicity to the governor, Mukhtar Gidado, said the governor noted that the commitment areas had been broken down into activities and targets for implementation by the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.
DailyPost reports that the governor said the state joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in July 2022 as part of its commitment to more excellent promotion of accountability, transparency and citizen engagement in governance.
He added that prior to joining the OGP, the state government had made concerted efforts to institutionalise the OGP principles within the operational processes of government in all sectors.
Mohammed said the state, under his leadership, had demonstrated a minimum level of commitment to the OGP by ensuring that budget processes were improved and supported to deliver efficient budget preparation, participation and timely publication of budget documents.
“I wish express my deep appreciation to USAID funded State-2-State Activity for its commitment and continuous support throughout the process leading to the state joining the OGP and to all government officials, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), development partners, communities and religious leaders and the global OGP for the support and collaboration in the processes of development of this first action plan.”
While expressing gratitude to stakeholders involved in the development of the plan, the governor informed that the Bauchi State government had produced an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Expansion Strategy formulated through a highly consultative and participatory process.
“I am pleased to note that we have, with support from USAID State2State Programme, developed a State Budget Operation Manual, Standard Operating Procedures for Public Engagement and for Publishing Budget Reports, and a Guide to the State’s Fiscal Responsibility Law to guide the processes.
“Furthermore, we have also worked to produce an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Expansion Strategy that was formulated through a highly consultative and participatory process involving a wide range of stakeholders,” the governor was quoted to have said.
On inclusiveness, Governor Mohammed said the state government had since developed and approved a State Social Protection Policy through the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law and the domestication of the National Gender Policy to ensure the inclusion of marginalised groups in governance, among other things.
He expressed the hope that “The co-creation and co-implementation of the plan by the government and civil society actors will further enhance the relationship between the citizens and government and ensure the citizens’ belief and trust in the governance process.”