By Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja
The Kogi State Network of NGOs (KONGONET) has called on the state government to activate the state Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee that has been ‘non-active’ in the state.
Addressing a news conference on the state of affairs in Kogi State in the first quarter of 2023, state Chairman of KONGONET, Mr. Idris Ozovehe Murainah, urged the state government to respond to popular demand for openness in government in order to justify citizens confidence in government.
“The state government should engage in periodic interaction with the citizens to discuss matters of state importance. The State Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee platform should be activated, committee members should be officially inaugurated and the State Action Plan draft be validated and disseminated.
“There is still a dearth of periodic interaction between the State Government and citizens on matters of state importance. The State Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee platform is non- functional as the State Actor (SA) Co- Chair is not active.”
KONGONET also expressed appreciation to GiveDirectly (GD) organization for providing highly impactful humanitarian support reaching over 6, 200 citizens of Kogi State across for wards of Kogi LGA.
“This intervention by GiveDirectly (GD) is well thought-out bearing mind that same community of intervention were also greatly affected by the 2022 devastating floor in Kogi State.
“The Nigeria Country Program Manager of GiveDirectly (GD), Mr. Ndim-Ejor Ndifon, reported the implementation of humanitarian support in four (4) wards of Kogi LGA to tune of over N620,000,000 during the GiveDirectly (GD) program close-out meeting with stakeholders in Kogi State.”
According to the coalition of civil society in the state, “Kogi State 2023 – 2055 (32) years development plan committee inaugurated September 2022 is currently at a crossroad. The committee activities have taken a long pause, due to funding related challenges,” says KONGONET.
KONGONET also appealed to the state government to release budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector to boost food production in the state while it appeals to government to women farmers in the state get their fair share of government spending in agriculture sector to increase women productivity in the agricultural value chain as a critical stakeholders in the food sub-sector.