Thursday, 15 June 2017

Implementation of the #OpenGovtNG (Transparency and Accountability in Government in Nigeria) Campaign


A couple of weeks ago, there was an #OpenGovtNG rally at Jabi Park. Young African Leaders Initiative, Abuja members came together and began to raise awareness about the importance and the reasons why Nigerians should be involved in promoting transparency, accountability and right attitude in all the tiers of government. Which indeed, if implemented properly would no doubt make Nigeria a better place.



Being part of the campaign and through my journey in spreading the word about it on social media, it has always left a question about implementation, what can we do as youth to ensure that we keep the government on their feet to ensure that our needs are met.



And at the last YALI event, when they showed us a video clip of how the event went, and one of the people they got to interview was impressed that youths were championing such an audacious cause but he expressed his concern on implementation, we need to channel our campaign towards implementing these ideologies and move them to projects that people can get involved in. He noted that the awareness campaign was a massive first step.



I have thought about how I could personally give my own bit towards this campaign albeit just throw in my own suggestions as to groups that are promoting transparency and accountability in government and generally for the main populace to be able to channel their demands for better leadership through an appropriate platform.



We have seen projects like BudgIT and Tender.ng launched by enterprising Nigerians to promote transparency in Nigeria.



BudgIT

This project aims for the all governments across all tiers of governments to publicly display their budget plans to the general public so they can keep track of government spending. This is a bold move towards transparency.


Tender.ng

We all know that the civil service is the bane of corruption in Nigeria. Tender.ng helps to advertise openly contracts offered by governmental agencies for the interest of contractors that are capable of taking on those contracts, either construction, supply or other forms of service to those agencies.
This is also a bold move to ensure that the general public has access to those information so that any company that feels that they are capable to carrying out those contracts can partake in the bidding process.


Very similar to the platforms like change.org that have allowed people to champion for change in different countries all around the world. We can do something similar here in Africa.



Apparently, I heard that if you had a suggestion or petition to present at the national assembly you would either drop into a suggestion box, where it wouldnt see the light of day or you would have to find a way to meet either with an MHR (the one representing your constituency most preferably) our the senator from your zone. Either ways, they can throw it away, except they can benefit somehow or they see how the idea can promote their popularity and most times would make a mockery of the original idea.

I say this because I had earlier approached the MHR representing my community pitching the idea of building an Imo State Corpers Lodge in an effort to ensure that imo corpers coming to Abuja for the first time would not be stranded on arrival. He dismissed the idea on management grounds. I thought that perhaps if I got the audience of most of the eastern lawmakers around this idea, it would actually work. But such a platform is unavailable, and as such many amazing ideas to move Nigeria forward are "dead on conception" unlike mine that was "dead on arrival". I had the opportunity to meet my MHR, an opportunity that a lot of sound youth do not.



That brings the idea. Why not create an online platform for that. Where individuals and thought-groups can actually proffer ideas that essentially could be part of constituency projects carried out by MHR and senators or even projects that could be carried out by the federal government. A platform that could easily be used to vet, using public opinion, credibility of selected cabinet members, ministers and even political leaders and lawmakers. A platform for them to promote their likeability and let people know what their plans are to make their community, constituency, senatorial zone, ministry and indeed the whole Nation in a bid to make Nigeria a better place.

I would call it OnevoiceNG, a platform to channel the thoughts and minds and public to affect the leadership of the country. People could also use the platform to assess and review even private companies that they feel could be better. Could also double as a promotional site even. The government can use this means to collect applications for ministerial positions and avoid those sensitive positions in Nigeria being handed to individuals as a result of party affiliations, and to let the government know about what the public perception of people that they are considering bringing into the government.

I hope this made a bit of sense. I know it is almost like a rant. But this is an idea that I feel should not be DEAD ON CONCEPTION.

#OPENGOVTNGCAMPAIGN #OPENGOVT #TRANSPARENCY #ACCOUNTABILITY #TRACKRECORD

God bless you all,

And God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Regards,

Muna (HubbonNG)


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