by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, has expressed excitement for the official launching of the CoST, the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, in Kaduna State.
The governor, who made the disclosure during his remarks at the launching in Kaduna on Friday, noted that the initiative is one amongst leading global initiatives, improving transparency and accountability in public infrastructure.
“I am delighted today to officially launch CoST (the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative) here in Kaduna State. This initiative is one amongst leading global initiatives improving transparency and accountability in public infrastructure.
“It works with the government, the private sector, and civil society to promote the disclosure, validation, and interpretation of data from infrastructure projects. I am happy to inform you that Kaduna State is the first sub-national in Nigeria to join CoST.
“The letter conveying the approval of the application of the State Government to join CoST and signed by the Chair, CoST Board, Christian Poortman, succinctly captured the milestones the Kaduna State Government has achieved in its drive towards the institutionalization of transparency and accountability in governance,” he stated.
“It reads thus: “Members of the board were impressed with your submission, particularly with regards to the breadth of consultation involved in its development, and the case that was made for integrating CoST operations into the institutions of government.
“We are conscious that the Kaduna State Government has distinguished itself with its commitment to open government reforms. We are hopeful that your membership of CoST will help accelerate the reform process already underway and deliver important social and economic benefits.
“The focus of CoST aligns with Agenda 7 of our sustain Agenda, i.e., Nurturing Citizens Engagement. We are committed to sustaining and strengthening the pioneering position of Kaduna State in the Open Government Partnership.
“Our administration recognizes the important and strategic role played by citizens, especially organized civil society, in holding government accountable and accelerating growth and development.
“Achieving substantial dividends in terms of (i) delivery and allocation of social/public goods, and
(ii) transparency, accountability, and tackling corruption is contingent on civic and political forces, creating demand-side pressure for changes in public policy. We shall continue to provide timely platforms for citizen inputs into government policy and the implementation of the reform agenda.
“Our interest in transparency and accountability is deliberate. We are servants of the people and must at all times be accountable to them. In the absence of transparency, it is difficult for citizens to participate effectively in governance and hold their leaders accountable.
“For transparency to be sustainable, however, it must be institutionalized and routinized. There must be well-defined structures and processes.
“CoST, which focuses on infrastructure transparency, is a most welcome initiative. The procurement process must be sanitized. It is a breeding ground for corruption. Every serious government must embrace measures or initiatives aimed at curbing wastage or corruption.
“I urge members of the Multi-Stakeholder Group to work collaboratively and cooperatively to achieve the objectives of this initiative. We shall give you all the support you require to perform optimally. We shall not rest on our oars until we make Kaduna State the model of Open Government in Nigeria and beyond.
“It is now my privilege and honour to officially launch CoST, the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, here in Kaduna State,” he stated.