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NGO sets mechanism to check transparency in LGAs

A Non Governmental Organization DEAN Initiative in partnership with other stakeholders is to host a Local Government Accountability Awards towards Promoting transparency at rural levels of government.

During a webinar Meeting to launch the program, the Country Representative of the NGO, Mr Semiye Michael, explained that the award would encourage open government partnership and citizen’s engagement in governance.

 According to him,” It was important to note that the fundamental principle of democracy can only be attained when citizens have the right to demand accountability and public officials are held accountable.

He said Since Nigeria ratified to the Open Government Partnership OGP,  in July 2016 as the 70th member country,  only Kaduna State had signed in to it, with no single LGA on the sign-up list” “For instance between May 1999 to June 2017 the six LGAs in FCT, Abuja, received over N228 billion; In 2018, the State and the Local Government jointly shared N4.5 trillion from the federal allocation. Unfortunately, this amount only appear on the pages of news for the citizens to see with no particular accountability structure for citizen to participate in their tracking the expenditure”

“The Local Government Accountability Award is part of DEAN’s strategic short term plan to promote Transparency, accountability, citizen participation and citizen’s responsiveness to government in Nigeria, using the six Area Councils in FCT as a pilot scheme”

In their Contribution, some of the partners who were also NGOs, such as the Country Director of Accountability Lab Mr Odeh Friday, a representative from the Budget Office Mr Oluseun Onigbinde and Executive Director CODE Mr Hamzat Lawal among others commended the initiative noting that the Award would spur the LGAs to sign in to Open Government Partnership OGP and increase access to citizens participation in governance.

JULIAN OSAMOTO

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