Jalingo – The UNDP in collaboration with the Youth Progressives Association (YPA) in Taraba on Friday inaugurated an anti-corruption-cluster centre that would assist to curb corruption in the state.
The Chief Executive Officer of YPA, an NGO, Mr Boniface Koson, at the inauguration of the centre in Jalingo, said it would be used to create awareness on the menace of corruption and how to tackle it.
Koson said 16 civil society organisations (CSOs) were drawn to the centre from the 16 council areas of the state to form a cluster to monitor the execution of Federal and state governments’ ongoing projects.
He said the NGO had acquired a document containing all federal projects in the state, and the CSOs were expected to monitor same and report their findings to the centre monthly.
He said the anti-corruption project, which was funded by the UNDP, was not aimed at victimising anyone but was in line with the desire for accountability and transparency in governance.
Koson said the establishment of the centre in Taraba was timely, given that the state had incurred huge losses through corruption.
Mr Benjamin Ibisu, the Executive Chairman, Taraba Fiscal Responsibility Commission, said the partnership between the commission and the NGO was pivotal to fiscal prudence in the state.
He said Section 51 (1) of the FRL 2001 (as amended) stipulated that “the enforcement of the law is a collective responsibility between the commission and all members of the public, especially, CSOs.”
Ibisu, who pledged to host and chair the monthly meeting of the centre, listed the causes of corruption to include greed, poor youth empowerment programmes, poverty, unemployment among others.
He suggested that corruption could be tackled through self discipline, strong institutions, employment generation, proper funding of schools and equal treatment of citizens among others.
Mr Izge Musa, the representative of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), said citizens should always ask questions and demand explanations on government programmes and projects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance were in attendance.