BPSR to engage citizens, CSOs to help Government MDAs make policies – Arabi

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The Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr Dasuki Arabi has said that the service will soon start engaging citizens, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies for dialogue to help citizens take part in decision making process.

The DG disclosed this when he received the president of Liberate the Women Initiative, Amb. Dr. Tobechukwu Princess, for a courtesy visit in BPSR headquarters in Abuja recently.

He said the agency hopes to commence the exercise by April, 2021, with the intention of organising dialogues, round table discussions with government agencies responsible for delivering specific services to citizens by giving them chance to have a say.

According to the DG, “After the various work we have done based on the number of clusters that are in that platform and the areas of interest, we intend to bring in dialogues, round table discussions with agencies of government responsible for delivering specific services around all areas to engage with policy makers.

“We hope to commence this exercise and programs effective from next month. Before this time, we have seen a very low relationship between government and citizens. Now, we are happy that within couple of weeks, there are more civil services linking up with government, collaborating with a lot of things and we hope to do more, and that is why we pioneered this engagement of platforms to see that we are also given the opportunity to hear from you citizens to pass your message to the government.

BPSR has been working with civil society and advocacy groups, one, because of our position in the OGP which is linked to FOI and citizen’s engagement around governance. We have NGOs that have supported us to do quite a lot of works around our website, all with the aim of accompanying the public service for citizens to relate to us.

We have gone into an agreement that tries to develop harmonious relationship between citizens and government officials and we have done a lot of work in fighting corruption and inclusiveness of almost everybody

“On many occasions, we have seen this break in relationships between citizens and the government, that is why are championing this engagement to see that we work closely, not to see us from outside but for you to given the chance to participate in governance. We have a very important role to play in all the process, not only in how budget is processed or for you to be invited for validation of budget sessions, but you have the right to say something about it,” Arabi added.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has already directed government agencies to engage these stakeholders; hence, it is not a question of choice to these MDAs.

Dasuki Arabi explained that citizens have that responsibility of directing where resources should go and ensure that those resources allocated are properly utilised as appropriated so that Nigerians can get value for the money appropriated to government MDAs.

Speaking earlier,the President of Liberate the Women Initiative, Dr. Tobechukwu Princess, said as a nongovernmental organisation centred around improvement of lives of women, the initiative has so far registered 337 women, most of whom are petty traders, farmers and unemployed housewives surviving in less than one Dollar daily.

She said the initiative was birthed in January, 2021 out of the outcry of suffering women for help by supporting them to alleviate poverty through cash grants, foodstuffs and skills acquisitions among others.

“Our purpose is to restore integrity of women at the grassroots level through rendering assistance in all areas. We believe that when a woman is empowered, the entire nation will thrive. Our grief is that these women have not benefitted from any COVID-19 grants or any government interventions,” Tobechukwu Princess lamented.

Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Bureau of Public Service Reforms
26th April, 2021.