By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
A conglomerate of civil society organizations (CSOs) rose from an impact assessment meeting in Kaduna yesterday, with a damning verdict on government’s ministries, departments and agencies for consistent failure to comply with Freedom of Information Act.
The CSOs at the projects tracking meeting, included Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), Partnership To Learn and Reform (PERL) and EDGAM among others.
Civil Rights advocates after a brainstorming session and progress assessments on budgets, projects and their execution and implementation to serve the end users, blamed officials and contact persons in contracts awarding desks for not allowing CSOs, the media and other watchdogs access to vital documents to scrutinize jobs done in communities for quality, service delivery and compliance to project specifications.
PERL Team Lead in Kaduna State, Abel Adejor lamented poor quality of jobs done on health, education and road infrastructures in 23 local government areas in the state, blaming the unfortunate development on indifferent nature of officials in ministries and government agencies.
Adejor, however, expressed optimism in the ability of civil societies in partnership with the press to positively change the narrative for a better and prosperous society where accountability and transparency would count.
He charged the media and civil societies alike to consistently engage the communities to find out quality of projects done in vital sectors so they could in turn expose infractions and hold governments responsible.
Dangwa Danjuma, a good governance advocate disclosed that 313 federal and state government executed projects across the 23 local governments had been tracked by community development champions in 2023.
He lamented the secrecy in which most of these projects were shrouded in, making the job of watchdogs of ensuring delivery of quality service very difficult.
Danjuma decried lack of awareness on the part of citizens to be conversant with their rights and responsibilities to engage policy makers with the view of compelling elected representatives to live up to their pledges and mandates.
He advocated a strong and enduring collaboration between civil society organizations and the media to achieve set goals of ensuring an accountable, prudent and transparent management of resources for growth and development of the society.