Story By: Stanley Ignacel
LAGOS – Lagos state government has said it is embarking on public awareness campaign to enlist citizens participation on its development agenda which is driven by the recently inaugurated service charter initiative.
The service charter is a public document which informs the citizens about the development agenda of ministries, departments and agencies (MDA’s) of government which aims at entrenching efficiency, accountability and deliverables to the residents.
Speaking at a media parley organised by the office of transformation in the governor’s office in collaboration with the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) a DFID project in Nigeria, Director-General (D-G) of the transformation office Mr. Toba Otusanya disclosed said fourteen MDA’s have been listed in the pilot phase.
Otusanya explaining rational for the service charter recalled that prior to the initiative, accessing government windows was usually characterised by some operational challenges which he said included lack of relevant information resulting in limited access to vital services.
The D-G stated that those challenges had caused citizens to form a wrong opinion about what government was doing.
He explained that the initiative therefore aims at facilitating a paradigm shift with respect to service delivery in the state.
He disclosed that so far ministries of health and education have had the initiative drilled down to their component agencies.
According to him, all health facilities including general hospitals and public educational facilities are now to interface with members of the public under a defined and publicized service charters as service providers.
To further elicit public participation, he said, “As the frontline Agency responsible for implementing and managing this service delivery initiative, Office of Transformation is embarking on public sensitization to create awareness about this new face of service delivery”.
The whole essence of the awareness programme is to further stimulate the interest of members of the public to avail themselves of the opportunities which the initiative offers.
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy Mr. Lateef Raji, said that public service in developed and developing world play pivotal role in providing public goods through public order, macro-economic management, education, public health, disaster relief among others.
Raji also explained that a capable public service is essential for creating a favourable investment climate and facilitating people’s participation in the economic life within the society.
He said the initiative has become imperative as the state government is driven by the desire service delivery is optimized and that people’s expectations are met on timely basis.
Under the public awareness programme the transformation office will organise road shows and will make extensive media services.
It would be recalled that the state governor, Babatunde Fashola on July 3, 2012 officially launched the service charter initiative to deepen citizen participation to the state government development agenda.