In a quest for transparent and accountable governance at the local level in Nigeria, DEAN has consistently worked to connect citizens’ concerns to government’s priority. With support from MacArthur, Centre LSD is helping to strengthen our work. Our mission is To weave the principles of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) using OPG-Local into the very fabric of FCT’s local councils governance and administration.
To advance our mission, we conducted official Advocacy Visits to the 5 Area Councils that are yet to join the OGP-Local governance model. Starting from Kwali Area Council, home to the ALGON Chairman in the FCT. We met with the council secretary, parliament speaker and officials who applaud our commitment to working with them and pledged the council’s readiness. Kwali Area Council, a driving force in our journey through the Chairman as FCT’s ALGON Chair, set the stage by leading the hosting of the OGP-Local onboarding session that marked the beginning of our citizens centric governance at the local level in FCT.
At Abaji Area Council, the council secretary represented the Chairman to receive and meet with our team. The Secretary’s several concerns as he presented them in a number of questions were attended, he requested for immediate capacity building support from DEAN Initiative in order to swing into action.
We also visited Gwagwalada Area Council and met with the council secretary and parliament speaker. The Secretary, speaking on behalf of the Chairman praised DEAN. In his view, our proposal of OGP-Local governance model should be a standard for all levels of government. The Speaker and the Secretary jointly expressed the Council’s readiness to work with us.
While at Kuje Area Council, the council’s representatives, shared the vision of their administration and pointed how they believed it aligned with the OGP-Local ideals. They desire to infuse OGP-Local into their governance approach and use citizen feedback as their guiding light. It was clear they had been waiting for this moment, and the OGP Local Action Plan Orientation Workshop we pitched to them came at the right time.
The final bus top for one week advocacy exercise was Bwari Area Council, a place echoing with a call for collaborative governance. Officials spoke as one, their anticipation vivid and their dedication resolute. They weren’t just aligning with the OGP Local Action Plan; they were embracing it wholeheartedly. Bwari’s energy was infectious, and their readiness to contribute to the OGP local Action Plan was undeniable. They were ready, and we are READY.
We are now going to return to each Area Council with our already designed OGP-Local Action Plan Orientation Workshop sessions. We will give updates.