The civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders in Ekiti State have lauded the strides of the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi, in moving the state from 28th position in 2018 to fourth position out of 36 states in the Budget Transparency Index.
They also hailed the Fayemi administration for validating the state Action Plan on Open Government Partnership (OGP) to further consolidate good governance and enhance transparency and accountability.
Performing the validation in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Fayemi said the action was a demonstration of the commitment of his administration to enshrine the principles of openness in government business and simplify service delivery to the people.
Represented by the state Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, the governor stressed that the OGP process requires high level political support to succeed, noting that its implementation will increase citizens’ trust in government.
The validation of the action plan was witnessed by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), representatives of CSOs, faith-based organisations, private sector groups, trade unions, senior government officials and OGP national Secretariat.
Impressed by the evidence of good governance witnessed under Fayemi’s watch, the Civil Society Adviser, OGP National Secretariat, Mr. Stanley Achonu, noted that Ekiti State has scored many firsts, including the first in the South-west region to sign the OGP; the first to have the fastest Action Plan on OGP, and the first in Nigeria to enact Freedom of Information (FoI) law.
Fayemi said the validation of the Ekiti State OGP Action Plan was preceded by preliminary sensitisation meetings with all relevant stakeholders and the development of the document, which was a commitment to deepening good governance in the state.
He added: “I am aware that non-state actors have worked tirelessly with their state counterparts to get us to this stage, and for this, I would like to thank the CSOs, CBOs, media, and organised private sector bodies for their desire and passion to see a better Ekiti State where dividends of democracy are enjoyed by all the good people of the state.
“I would also like to thank the OGP secretariat and Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) for providing technical support at various times, including ensuring that this meeting holds today.”
The governor urged the relevant stakeholders to reach out to him through the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and the Special Adviser on Development Partnership and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) anytime his support is needed if challenges are encountered in the process.
Also, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Femi Ajayi, explained that the Fayemi administration has halted what he called ‘the downward trend in governance recorded between 2015 and 2018’, with purposeful leadership and putting in place the framework for the development of the state.