Nigerians have been urged to shift from the usually way of complaining on prevalent of corruption in the nation to a more sophisticated way of equipping themselves with the necessary information and data so that they cab use such as evidence in confronting concerned authorities and asking the necessary questions particularly on budget, implementation and procurement.
Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) gave this advice in Benin on Thursday at an anticorruption townhall and engagement with stakeholders aimed at strengthening local oversight and budget tracking in Edo State.
Participants were drawn from the three Senatorial District of the state and were guided on how to monitor budget implementation and how to track down ongoing and abandoned projects in the state.
They were there after peered into group and commissioned to monitor ongoing projects in the state and budget implementation.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director who happens to be the Converner, ‘Say no Campaign’ said stakeholders need to adopt others means of solving the nation’s problem rather than the usual confrontation which according to him has not yeilded the needed result.
While describing the meeting as result oriented, Comrade Nwagwu noted that in addressing Nigerian corruption challenges and the need to hold public office holders accountable, there was need for a new thinking, stressing that ignorant in the side of members of the public has rather worsen corruption in the system.
“We must shift from the usual practice and this is why we are here. We must adopt other means of monitoring our budget and its implementation at all levels of government so that we can equip ourselves with the needed information and data and ask questions where necessary. We have to monitor ongoing and abandoned projects in our states and ask questions where necessary.
“And by doing this, we must first have the necessary documents that have to do with our state, communitie. People in our different communities, I mean the rural dwellers, must hold government accountable on projects situated in our communities. And this is why we did not go to the cities to pick participants but from communitie in the rural areas, because the people at the rural areas are more affected. By doing this we can hold government, contractors accountable on project execution,” he said.
Early, in his good will message, Commissioner, Independent Corruption Practices Commission, ICPC, Edo/Delta states represented by Assistant Commissioner of the Commission, Ezeh Nwafor, said for Nigeria to succeed in war against corruption, stakeholders must not only own the fight but must have sound ethical and moral conduct blended with accountability and transparency in all their dealings with the public.
He lamented that, over the years, the major corruption practices affecting economic and infrastructural development in every comminity of the country has remained poor implementation of budget in all sector which he said has led to waste, diversion of massive funds or abandoned projects.
“The major corruption practices affecting economic and infrastructural development in every comminity of Nigeria over the decades, has remained a poor implementation of budget in all sectors, leading to waste, diversion of massive funds or abandoned projects. The resultant affect has been untold hardship and poverty experienced today in Nigeria,” he said.