By Philip Yatai

The Borno Government is committed to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), to strengthen accountability, transparency, and citizens’ participation in governance.

Alhaji Bum Munguno, Executive Secretary, Agency for Coordination of Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Response, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Thursday.

Munguno, who led the state delegation on a learning visit to Kaduna State, told NAN that subscribing to the OGP was very crucial for the state rebuilding efforts, after years of insurgency by Boko Haram.

NAN reports that OGP is a platform where government and citizens co-create and implement policies and programmes together in an accountable and transparent manner to serve the citizens better.

President Barack Obama launched the OGP, a multilateral initiative that empowers citizens and encourages governments to be open and responsive in 2011 at the UN General Assembly meeting.

“Signing onto the OGP is very critical for us because you cannot preach and practice good governance without the voice of the people.

“However, the voice of the people can only be captured when you have open governance. We have seen OGP in practice in Kaduna state and we want to key-in to change our approach to governance.

“The OGP principle of co-creation and co-implementation of programmes by the government and the citizens will significantly catch the aspiration and voices of the people in Borno.

“This will entrench the needed citizens’ participation in the governance process in the state,” he said.

Munguno, who noted government was about the people, said that the delegation would go back and initiate the process of joining the global platform to improve the governance in the state.

The executive secretary also said that he was fascinated by the Kaduna State Eyes and Eyes project, a digital platform where citizens and government monitor and evaluate delivery of government projects.

“This also stood out for me because it will keep implementation of activities on track due to the close monitoring and evaluation by both the government and the citizens.

“It will also entrench accountability, transparency and delivery of quality services to the people,” he said.

Munguno explained that the learning visit was very important for a state that was coming out of a 15-year insurgency being perpetrated by Boko Haram.

“We are now recovering and rebuilding and so we are going to places where we think we can learn a few things to help our rebuilding process.

“We are in Kaduna State because the state has implemented a number of successful reforms that we can learn from.

“Also, very fundamental to the visit is to the ongoing implementation of the Borno State 25 Development Plan.

“The plan has made a provision for a Delivery Support Unit to support the implementation of the plan and so we felt we will learn good governance practices, accountability and other reforms from Kaduna state.“

Also speaking, Alhaji Bashir Muhammad, Permanent Secretary Planning and Budget Commission, who facilitated the learning process told NAN that a lot of states have been coming to learn from the Kaduna example.

Mohammed, who described Kaduna State as a model of “good governance and best practices”, attributed the milestones to the good will of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai in driving the state Revitalisation and Renewal Project.

Earlier, Mr Adejor Abel, State Lead Facilitator, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), said that the governance programme would continue to bring citizens and government together, to plan and implement citizens-oriented programmes together.