Speak out against corruption, NGO urges Nigerians

#TrackNigeria An NGO, Aid Foundation, on Tuesday urged Nigerians to always speak out against corruption and demand for accountability in governance.

The NGO made the appeal at a town hall meeting on corruption held in Kaduna.

The programme was supported by Action Aid, with funding from United Kingdom Agency for International Development under Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C).

The meeting was also organised in partnership with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, Kaduna Electric and the Police.

Others are the Kaduna State Ministries of Health, Education and Justice, Human Services and Social Development, Works as well as the state Internal Revenue Service.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet, said that the objective was to ensure that citizens do what is right of them and keep away from all forms of corrupt practices.

He also said that the foundation had been enlightening citizens on the steps to take in speaking against corruption, upholding values of honesty, integrity, transparency and hard work in every sphere of life.

“As good citizen, we should refuse to give or take bribes or gratifications before carrying out our services, every meaningful individual, organization or group should mandate themselves on discouraging and reporting corruption.”

Bonet added that the foundation works around thematic areas including governance, monitor and analyse budgets, promote peace building and anti-corruption crusades.

“We have decided to make the town hall meetings quarterly to provide platform for government and citizens to interface, and for the government to tell the citizens about their reform programs.

“The government should listen to the people, they would focus more on areas being pointed out by the people and improve more on the services provided,” he said.

Earlier, The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, said that such gathering was important to the government, as it provides opportunity to discuss with citizens on how to improve service delivery.

She also said that the fight against corruption was one of the cardinal principles of the state government, as it strives to ensure equity and transparency in delivering its mandate.

The deputy governor, was represented by Mohammed Shuaibu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, who was also represented by Dr Ado Zakari, Director Public Health, MoH, said the government was doing a lot to strengthen primary health care services.

“We have established the Kaduna State Primary Halthcare Development Agency and brought together all the components of primary health care into one, so as to ease administration and service delivery.

“We try as much as possible to ensure equity in the provision of the services. To achieve this, we are working to have a facility in every political ward under the representation of a councillor.

“The facilities would be well equipped and well staffed, and capable of providing service 24 hours every day at every ward.

“At the secondary level, a lot has also been done to ensure good service delivery; in 2017, we did a gap analysis of human resource at the secondary health care facilities and we presented it to the governor.

“We later recruited Doctors and Nurses to fill in the gaps, currently, we have an agreement with an international organization to supply all the needed equipment we need at both primary and secondary healthcare facilities”, she said.

The Kaduna Zonal Head of EFCC, Mr Yakubu Mailafia, said that the meeting would assist citizens to know how corruption cases are reported, the type of cases the EFCC handles and where the EFCC’s offices are situated.

He called on the citizens to desist from any form of crime, stressing that nobody is above the law.

Mailafia assured  that the commission was always ready to assist citizens who fall victims of fraud to get justice.

NAN reports that questions were asked by some participants on contemporary issues and problems confronting Kaduna state and the country at large.

NAN also reports that phone numbers of various government organizations and ministries were shared to enable citizens complain on irregularities and inefficiency noticed on services being delivered by the organizations.(NAN)