Policy Alert In Partnership With OGP Nigeria Secretariat/USAID/SCALE Project, Trains Non-State Actors In Cross River State

 

Cross section of participants

Policy Alert in partnership with Open Government Partnership, OGP Nigeria secretariat and support from USAID/SCALE project implemented by Palladium has organised a two-day capacity-building workshop for OGP non-state actors in Cross River State.

The capacity building training which was held on the 28th and 29th of November, 2022 at the 520 hotels Asdam and SPA, Calabar had the theme "Deepening open government reforms at the subnational level. What non-state actors should know" was designed to train members of the civil society and media persons. And focused on three major areas;

1. To increase non-state actors' knowledge of OGP principles and implementation processes.

2. To improve/strengthen non-state actors' skills to advocate for OGP uptake and implementation in the six project states; and 

3. To support non-state actors to kick-start the States' Action Plan (SAPs) co-creation process and the emergence of the Permanent Dialogue Mechanism (PDMs) in the six target states.


While welcoming participants, the Executive Director of Policy Alert, Mr. Tijah Bolton-Akpan stated that the process of engaging to improve governance outcomes is a continuum. And stressed that in OGP, one of the biggest lessons that have been learnt is that capacity building is key on both sides of the divides.



He said, "The process of engaging to improve governance outcome is a continuum, it doesn't stop at any point, it only adds to what existed before and so that is why building on knowledge is important. We build on existing knowledge and that knowledge grows to become something better than it used to be. And in the process of opening of government, one of the biggest lessons that have been learnt is that capacity building is key on both sides of the divide." 

He further added that "The state actors require the capacity to be able to deliver on government responsibilities and governance outcome in an efficient and effective matter. In the same way, too the nonstate actor requires an understanding of the way governance processes work." 

"Sometimes we proceed with a lot of unfounded assumption and so it distorts our efforts to get the government to work better."  He said.

Tijan Bolton also revealed that the capacity building series took place in six (6) states in the Niger Delta. 

While Nigeria signed up to OGP in 2016 as the 70th country to sign up out of the 77 registered OGP countries, Cross River State signed up in 2019.

Stressing the essence of the capacity-building series, Mr. Tijan Boltion observed that "Civil Society is not yet an institution in Nigeria because Nigeria just came out from the era of 

military dictatorship barely 22 years ago and so are not yet emboldened and equipped with the kind of skillsets that we need to get the outcome from the state side of the divide."

The OGP process is a dynamic one, and the participants were expected to learn what the rationale of a state like the Cross River was when they signed up to OGP, what the state action plan, SAP will look like and how to participate effectively in its creation.

He further added that with the OGP and sustained engagement of non-state actors, Cross River State can move up, much higher back to where it used to be in the open government ecosystem in Nigeria.


The training had a goodwill message from the OGP National Coordinator, Dr. Gloria Ahmed. 


The training was concluded with group work on what a Cross River State OGP SAP looks like.

Participants at the end of the training expressed unrestrained gratitude to Policy Alert and other organising bodies for their effort in enlightening non-state actors.


Other resource persons at the 2 days training were Mr. Koko Udo, Mr. Ken Henshaw, Mr. Kingsley Eworo, Mr. Mooreino Diftuffe and Mr. Jonathan Ugbal. 



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