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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) Sokoto State, in partnership with the Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (CLSD), is to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The state Director of NOA, Alhaji Abubakar Danchadi, made the disclosure at the North-west zonal rally on Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Sokoto on Thursday.

He said the move was to mobilise citizens to engage in public debate, provide input and make contributions that lead to more responsive and effective governance.

According to him, this would also galvanise the citizens to embrace new technologies in driving innovation, providing citizens with open access to technology and increasing their capacity to use technology.

He said the rally was organised nationwide in order to inform the civil society organisations (CSOs) as well as citizens on the open government partnership key principles and action plan.

“The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative governed by four key principles that includes transparency, accountability, citizen partnership and technological innovation.

“This seeks to mobilise citizens to engage in public debate, provide input and make contributions that lead to more responsive and effective governance.

“It also embraces the importance of new technologies in driving innovation, providing citizens with open access to technology and increasing their capacity to use technology.

“Also, information on government activities and decision is open, comprehensive, timely and freely available to the public that meets basic open standard,” he said.

He called on the CSOs to exercise their watchdog function on government business, while ensuring judicious implementation of budgetary provisions.

In his remarks, the Programme Coordinator, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Mr. Uchenna Arisukiru, called for more enlightenment campaign to ensure the success of the Open Government Partnership in the country.

He added that corruption needs to be fully tackled from the grassroots, through the promotion of anti-corruption campaigns.

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