The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, on Monday said that the Office of Civic Engagement would adopt appropriate strategies to increase trust between government and the people.
Adebule spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat for Management Staff of Office of Civic Engagement, organised by Department For International Development and State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) in Lagos.
She said that the office needed to be equipped in the areas of human capacity and content development and also reach to deepen its understanding of its responsibilities to ensure effective delivery on its mandate.
“Our State, and indeed, the world, is rapidly changing, therefore, community engagement, investing in the people, social activism through engagement are critical to making government work better, respond effectively and serve efficiently.
“It is the business of the Office of Civic Engagement to connect government with families, social groups and labour organisations.
“Also, engagement of religious institutions, the military and media will help to achieve inclusive governance and general attitudinal change in the people of Lagos.
“Information is power and openness can help make our job as government easier. And we can serve and respond to our people better.
“I, therefore, urge all the stakeholders in this retreat to be focused, learn and exchange fresh ideas for agenda setting and development of goals for the year 2016,” Adebule said.
In her remarks, Mrs Margaret Fagboro, Acting Regional Director, DFID, said that the engagement of the citizens was critical to achieving good and democratic governance.
“Good governance is not a one-way thing; it is purely about the people, to achieve development and sustainable goals that will be beneficial to the people,” she said
Mr Felix Obanubi, Team Leader, SAVI, said that the retreat would help develop robust strategies of engaging the citizens.
Obanubi said it would also help the state government deliver on its campaign promises to meet the needs and aspirations of the people.
He also advised residents to utilise the office to demand for their rights, hold government accountable and perform their civic duties as a way of contributing positively to the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on May 29, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State created the Office of Civic Engagement to promote social contract between the government and the governed, as well as ensure inclusive governance in the state.
The office is under the supervision of the Office of the Deputy Governor.