By Fortune Abang
Abuja – An NGO, Connected Development (CODE), has called on the three tiers of government to collaborate to ensure accountability in the implementation of rural community, projects to achieve national growth.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Executive Director of CODE, made the call at the activities marking the three-day capacity training programme with the theme “Follow the Money”, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The programme, organised by CODE started Sept. 11 to Sept.13, aimed at equipping the participants with relevant knowledge to track implementation of community projects
Lawal, also founder of the FTM initiative said that the call became imperative because of the need for citizens to hold their leaders accountable and to achieve meaningful community development.
According to him, the vision of every community resident is to be empowered with requisite information as a tool for holding his or her government accountable through FTM.
“If there is no accountability, then democracy cannot work effectively, we want people to always lend their voice to promote accountability and ensure things work perfectly in their community.
“FTM tries to answer questions about where funds are coming from, where they are going to and most importantly, to know how judiciously funds are being utilised at grass roots.
“This will not only strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, but also help citizens focus attention on issues that can bring about service delivery in rural communities during electoral processes.”
He said that plans had been put in place to mobilise 5,000 election observers across the country in 2019 general elections to achieve the desired goal.
Also speaking, Dr Kole Shettima, Africa Director of MacArthur Foundation, an NGO, urged the participants to always take community service work serious in order to achieve the set target.
He said the essence of accountability was to enable the poor access quality services by government as a matter of right they deserve.
Shettima said “We must try to imbibe accountability and integrity as culture; we are not asking government not to award contracts, all we are saying is every project should be implemented transparently.
“Lack of accountability is what causes corruption and accountability is important and must be supported toward making the poor access improved services in public institutions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event featured interactive session with Shettima and Mr Jude Ilo, Nigeria Country Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, also an NGO, on resource management.