NGO extols AMAC for credibility in its open governance project

The Dean Initiative, an NGO, has cited the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) for showing credibility in using the Open Governance measurement (OGP local) tool of the initiative.

Mr Semiye Michael, the Executive Director of the group, disclosed this at a press conference and award ceremony which held on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The OGP Local was an international multi-stakeholder initiative that focused on improving transparency, accountability, citizen participation and responsiveness through technology and innovation.

The OGP local introduced a domestic policy mechanism, through which the government and civil society could have an ongoing dialogue.

Michael, who enumerated the indicators of open governance employed in measuring the Local Government Areas within the FCT, said AMAC was the only council with an active and engaging website.

“AMAC, during the assessment period, was the only area council in the FCT that operated a social media account and website that had remained active, informative, and engaging.

“This was one of the indicators that provided an insight into citizen participation and openness of the local government administration.

“It isn’t surprising that AMAC had distinguished itself over all the other Area Councils as they had remained the only Local Government in Nigeria that had signed into the OGP Local.

“The willingness of AMAC to join the OGP Local had shown that it was making governance citizen-participatory, transparent and open.

” Allowing the government to function effectively and deliver optimally; It diminishes bias.
“And rather than the government seeing the citizens as enemies or opposition, both worked together to deliver on a common goal.

Similarly, while noting that the OGP local Award had provided data on the state of local government administrations in the country , Michael said no other LGA has its budget accessible to the public for engagement except AMAC.

“Working with AMAC on her OGP Local action plan journey had been nothing but complementary and harmoniously successful.

“AMAC also became the first-ever local government to co-create its annual budget with the citizens through ward-level town hall meetings.

“Remarkable progress also encouraged AMAC to release its budget to the public as both a project tracking tool and governance engagement instrument.

“Apart from AMAC, no other local government in Nigeria had its budget accessible to the public for engagement.

“The Open LGA Accountability Award has provided verified data on the state of our local government administrations.

“The lack of connectivity between government and citizens had revealed itself the bane of democracy.

On his part, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu, Chairman of AMAC, said witnessing the event was one of the most remarkable days of his administration which he would never forget.

“I think I will never forget this day, this is one of my most remarkable days in the life span of my administration sincerely.

“So, I will never forget this, for me it is not how long but how well, I think so far so good for us to even be recognised by Civil Society groups.

“Those groups of people who are seen to be critics every now and then, but even in the course of the criticism we are seen to have done very well.

“I must say thank you very much, let me once again, on behalf of the Area Council further appreciate you as a body.

“Because what we did wasn’t a personal thing, it was all about the people of this area Council.

“It was all about the people of this area Council and in ensuring transparency, accountability and governance.

“If we keep engaging the people in offices I think we are beginning to do the right thing for this nation” he said.

Similarly, he encouraged members of the civil society to ensure that they also get into governance because “until the right people are fixed in government, Nigerians and Nigeria would continue to lament and good governance will continue to elude us”, he said.

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