…leads in access to budget, user-friendly website
Reforms by Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in opening up governance to public participation and access to state’s legislature’s activities have been applauded by independent researchers, who affirm that the state beat other 35 Nigerian states on different parameters for open governance.
In a statement on Thursday, in Benin City, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the accolades for transparency and accessibility show that Governor Obaseki’s collaboration with the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) on the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) for open governance is yielding results.
The verdict was contained in a recent publication by Enough is Enough Nigeria titled Legislative Engagement: Why Are Our State Legislators Inaccessible? to identify states’ legislature with active website, members’ contact details online and budgets available online.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said, “The role of state legislators cannot be underestimated in national development. This makes it imperative for citizens to engage state lawmakers for optimal representation and maximum service delivery.”
From the published data, of Nigeria’s 36 states, only seven states have their annual budget published; four had members of their state assembly’s contact details online and five operated active websites. Edo ticked the three parameters that were measured.
Osagie said the state government’s commitment to e-governance would open the space for citizens to get involved in the governance process, noting that the improved rating for Edo state shows that the people are not only carried along by government but that the legislature allows for the input of their constituents in the legislative process, among others.
According to him, “Governor Obaseki will continued to maintain a healthy relationship with the legislators in the interest of the people to improve governance.
He added, “In February this year, the governor inspected the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities at the State Assembly complex, where he commended the foresight of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, in adopting technological solutions to improve legislative proceedings.
“As a government, we promise to continue to uphold these principles to give our people the opportunity to engage in the governance process. The governor will not relent in providing needed support to drive the adoption of improved communication technologies to enhance governance at all levels, including legislative proceedings at the State Assembly Complex,” Osagie added.