Anti-corruption: CSOs challenge govt on inclusive budgetary process

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#TrackNigeria: Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Enugu State have urged governments at all levels to come up with measures to ensure participation of ordinary citizens in budget planning.

Some  representatives of  CSOs made the appeal on Thursday in Enugu during the 2019 African Union (AU) Anti-corruption Day.

The programme was organised by the Enugu Zonal Office of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mrs Onyeka Udegbunam, the Executive Director of Hope Giver Initiative, said that a situation where budgets were drawn without the inputs of the ultimate beneficiaries would not encourage transparency.

Udegbunam said that if the government was serious about curbing corruption in all aspects of the body polity, it had to seek inputs of the masses in the process.

She said that the situation was more worrisome as some provisions  in the budget were shrouded in secrecy.

Ms Ogechukwu Enwelum, the Executive Director of Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiative, commended the Federal Government for the successes it had recorded in the fight against corruption.

Enwelum said that for the onslaught against corruption to be effective, government still had much more to do in its dealings with the masses.

She said that a situation where the citizens were kept in the dark about some activities of government, especially as it related to financial dealings needed for change, was not good.

She said that the citizens should know how budgets, drawn by the government, were implemented and how money were expended.

The executive director said it had become more pertinent for the people to hold their leaders accountable.

She said that CSOs had much to do in harnessing the abilities of the masses to fight corruption.

“The opportunity cost of corruption affects our daily lives in all sectors – education, health, agriculture, infrastructure to mention these few.

“The utilisation of the asset recovered, repatriated funds and all public resources lies in our hands as CSOs, citizens with sovereign powers for our actions and inactions.

“We employ all to make use of resources and platforms available to us to take actions against this monster.

“We will be available to work with the ICPC, document your stories and ensure that by 2030 we have impacts of our successes and experiences to share,” Enwelum said.

Earlier, the South East Zonal Commissioner of the ICPC, Mr Sule Amedu, said that the ocassion was for the 55 AU countries to raise more awareness on corruption .

Amedu said that the event, regarded as a day for ‘a call for action’, was meant to propagate supportive things people could do to fight corruption.

He said that Nigerians needed to understand that the direct and indirect impact of corruption, especially on the hapless common people,  was enormous. (NAN)

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