KONGONET Frowns at Non-Compliance With Hajj Commission Law in Composition of Kogi Board, Seeks Women Inclusion

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  • Calls for reactivation of State Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee.

The apex coalition of civil society networks in Kogi State championing the promotion of participatory democracy, good governance, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) has called for immediate compliance with the Hajj Commission Law by Kogi State Government.

This was part of the resolutions reached at the first quarter press briefing by KONGONET in Lokoja on Tuesday.

At the press briefing, Kogi State Affirmative Action Group, one of the civil society groups in the state, observed the state non- compliance with the Hajj Commission law that provided for women inclusivity in the membership of the board.

The coalition noted that Kogi state government jettison section 7 (1) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and re- enacted local government administration law to empower the executive arm of government to unilaterally appoint local government caretaker committee chairmen.

They expressed worries that there are no concrete plans for the conduct of local government elections in Kogi State.

KONGONET urged Kogi State House of Assembly to give a second consideration to her decision to jettison the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria by give powers to the Executive to unilaterally appoint local government caretaker chairmen without recurs to the provisions of section 7(1) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

Speaking at the press briefing, the Chairperson of KONGONET, Amb. Idris Muriana Ozovehe, expressed delight that the Kogi State 2024 – 2056 (32) years development plan has finally come into existence, after several impediments since 2022.

While congratulating Kogi State for the eventual design and unveiling of the 2024 – 2056 (32) years development plan, he urged the state to carry out sensitization on the content of the document and quickly proceed with the development of the “Sector Implementation Plans (SIPs)” to ensure applicability of the document.

Noting that the effects of fuel subsidy removal are still hitting hard across the state, as the state is yet to unveil a comprehensive strategic mitigation plan, despite civil society recommendations on workable strategies, the coalition called on Kogi state government to unveil a detail plan, aimed at curbing the current economic hardship across the state.

They recommended that special palliative package should be provided for senior citizens through the appointment, inauguration and operationalization of the agency for social security and protection of older citizens in Kogi State.

They expressed worries over the persistent increase in the prices of food commodities across the state which leaves lots of questions unanswered in regards to the capacity of relevant government MDAs to act and respond sufficiently to issues of pressing need of Kogites.

“Kogi State has consistently retained the title of the most expensive state in Nigeria to leave due to the skyrocketing food inflation in the state,” they decried.

They recommended that the state government should swiftly inaugurate a technical committee to unravel the misery behind the astronomical increment on agricultural/consumer goods across the state and proffer immediate, mid-term and long-term solutions to them.

In the education sector, within the reporting period, the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) congratulated the state government for the improvement in the salaries of teachers and urged the government to strive to attain the required 100% pay to primary school teachers across the state.

The group also called for the introduction of other special welfare package to motivate teachers across the state in the light of the current economic hardship.

KONGONET noted with dismay that there is still a dearth of periodic interaction between the State Government and citizens on matters of state importance.

They submitted that the State Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee activities are not active as the state government has refused to play its part.

They called on the state government to engage in periodic interaction with the citizens to discuss matters of state importance.

The State Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee platform should be reactivated, committee members should be officially inaugurated and the State Action Plan draft be validated and disseminated.

KONGONET reiterated its commitment tol consistently support laudable initiatives of government to ameliorate the suffering of Kogites and ensure the state upholds the tenets of democracy and fair play in her administration of the people’s collective resources.

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