CSOs, Delta Communities Task Govts on Transparency, Accountability

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liteNigerian Governments at the three tiers have been urged to exhibit transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties as this is the only way to engender sustainable development in the country.
This was the verdict of participants at a one-day CSOs and Community roundtable meeting in Warri, the commercial hub of Delta State.
The meeting which came under on-going Strengthening Citizens Voice for Change Project in Delta State, was facilitated by a Niger Delta based Non-Governmental Organization, LITE-Africa and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Associate Executive Director, LITE-Africa, Dr. Sandra Ross, in her opening remarks, said NED was dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world, along with LITE-Africa, which strives to create safe space for peace and development action.
Senior Programme Officers, Chinyere Ihekaibe and Austen Bisina, who steered the meeting, discussed project objectives and activities, emphasizing on the power of social audit in promoting transparency and accountability in governance.
The duo stressed that the project was aimed at creating avenues for community members to use the power of collective action to push for public accountability and transparency in the state.
According to them, projects were being undertaken without inputs from the people, noting that the social audit will give them the opportunity to be heard, which would aid their advocacy engagements.
Participants drawn from CSOs and communities in two local government areas including Uvwie and Oshimili South voiced concern about implementation of sub-standard projects, duplication of projects, prevalence of projects abandonment in the state and that most times these projects were not beneficial to the people.
They also said there was need to meet policy makers in Abuja and Asaba to let them know that communities should be carried along in budget planning and implementation to give them a sense of belonging.
They solicited more engagements of the local communities by the local, state and federal governments in project planning and implementation, urging LITE Africa to amplify the need of the communities.
Others on the LITE-Africa team were Arinze Ojukwu, Programme Officer, Steven Huffman, Intern and Harris-Okon Emmanuel, Development Communications Specialist.

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