The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission has charged the government of the South West state to fully key into the Open Government Partnership (OGP) so as to achieve the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP).
The acting Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye gave the charge during an experience sharing session on FSP implementation for the Commissioners for Finance and Economic Planning and Budget, the media, civil society organizations and the private sector in the six states of South West.
The meeting which took place in Ibadan, Oyo state was organised by DAWN Commission in collaboration with the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn, a Programme of the Department for International Development (DFID).
The DG said objectives of the meeting was to enable the states to showcase good practices on budget matters for the purpose of replication across the region and beyond
The six South West states including Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Ekiti shared ideas and experiences at the meeting. They also used the avenue to identify common challenges and obstacles that each of the state was facing and provided practicable solutions.
Oyeleye said DAWN Commission championed the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) with South West Open Data Initiative (SWODI) conversations early in the year.
He noted that some states have started implementing some aspect of SWODI but none of the states in the South West has officially signed onto OGP even when five states in Nigeria have signed on.
Oyeleye said Kaduna state has gone a bit further by launching OGP action plan and urged the South West state to move fast in adopting the innovation and creativity in governance.
His words “The objective of this meeting aligned perfectly with the agenda of DAWN Commission because it speaks to the viability of our States, particularly as it concerns financial sustainability.
“Without any doubt, crude oil price fluctuation has a great influence on our finance in the Region and over reliance on that commodity was the cause of the financial turmoil we witnessed in the recent past.”
“However, the introduction of the 22 points intervention areas of the Financial Sustainability Plan (FSP) has really helped our States to be a bit stabilized and I’m of a conviction that if we permanently made it a way of life, the Region will in no time become financially self-sustaining.”
“We hope that this meeting will help deepening our understanding of the concept of OGP and be in good position to convince our principals to commit to its implementation. And we like us to start testing the water through engagement of citizens in year 2018 budget process”, Oyeleye said.