BPSR harps on citizens engagement for nation building, good governance
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, has underscored the need to develop a sustainable framework for citizens engagement with government towards nation building, while entrenching good governance in the polity.
According to him, the transformation that has taken place all over the world, along with recent global crises, signal the need for a new balance between the masses and democracy, between the public and private interests, and between freedom in the private sphere and common responsibility in the collective sphere.
“A new balance that requires, new insights and synergetic working relationship between government and citizens,” he said.
Mr. Arabi, in his opening remark at the November edition of the Bureau’s lunch-time reform seminar in Abuja, maintained that achieving collective results require a strong institutional capacity to provide the necessary checks and balances to exercise power, to propose laws and ensure their enforcement, to encourage social justice, and to guarantee the efficient use of public funds and the accountability of office holders.
The seminar was themed: “The Imperative of Developing a Sustainable Framework for Citizens Engagement with Government towards Nation Building.”
He explained that the increasing number of public policy issues require the active contribution of citizens as users, value creators or active agents of change to achieve desired public results towards nation building.
He said governments achieve results by working through vast networks of actors and institutions, including citizens and civil society groups, who have a stake in achieving common policy outcomes.
The BPSR Director General, said: “In the present democratic setting, public sector institutions are expected to live up to the ideal of democratic principles and to advance civic results, which they do in many ways. They allow their oversight by a legislative assembly, ensure that holders of public office are accountable for the exercise of power, provide for transparency, ensure access to information, and encourage participation in the policy cycle to ensure greater buy-in and support for government initiatives.”
Arabi, stressed that citizens play a critical role in advocating and helping to make public institutions more transparent, accountable and effective, and contributing innovative solutions to complex development challenges.
He added that the international community is recognizing the vital importance of engaging citizens with strong growth of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the active discussion of citizens engagement within the sustainable development goals process.