NGO calls for engagement of communities in council’s project

HipCity Innovation Centre (HIC), has called on Local Government authorities in the country to engage communities on council projects .

The Executive Director, Mr Bassey Bassey, made this known on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Bassey said that LGAs should open space for more communities engagement on projects as that was the main reason for their establishments.

He said that from basic, people were not carried along on budgetary processes.

“This is the area councils need to work on, as many works are going on without consulting them.

“They spent so much money on overhead and infrastructure without the main work that will bring development to the people,” he said.

Bassey said that the LGAs were set up to engage communities where federal and states cannot reach.

He added that local government autonomy should be adequately implemented, to enable them account for funds given to them.

“For the past two years we find it so difficult to access the budget of councils in the country.

“In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), we have 6 councils but none has functional budget, they don’t have website and social media platforms,” he said.

NAN reports that HIC is a Non- Governmental Organisation, that has been working with grassroots communities and urban slum settlements in the six Area Council of the FCT.

The aim was to support communities to document their needs, tell their stories and also engage with their area councils on their identified challenges, while seeking partnership with area councils to provide the desired solutions.

NAN also reports that HIC recently premiered a video documentary ‘ Echoes of the people’, and role of local governance in sustainable development.

In that video documentary, they urged governments at all levels to pay serious attention to challenges confronting Nigerians at the grassroots.

Some of the communities visited in the six area councils were Athena Rice Mill at Kuje, Rije community, Leyeyi Gwari community at Kwali, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Zuba spare parts market among others. (NAN)