ActionAid Nigeria on Saturday inaugurated Kogi chapter of Inclusive Forum for Accountable Society (IFAS) with a call on members to strive towards good governance and bridging gaps between the rich and the poor in society.
Mrs Gift Omoniwa Owonipa, ActionAid Project Manager who made the call at that inauguration of the forum in Lokoja.
She said there was need for the existence of a viable platform at state level that could engage stakeholders and duty bearers on good governance and accountability.
The committee, according to her would also respond to the needs of the people and support relevant stakeholders in their areas of capacity gaps through training.
Owonipa who is also the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Beharvioural Change in Development (PIBCID), ActionAid local rights partners in the state said, “We need to bridge the gap in public services.
“And we can only do that when we have people of different capacities come together to chart the way forward on how to bridge theses gaps and ensure that citizens enjoy adequate public services that will, to a very large extent, bridge gaps between the rich and the poor.”
Mr Abdul Miliki, Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) who is also a member of the committee pointed out that capacity of implementors of government policies was key.
Miliki decried a situation where some government functionaries saddled with the responsibility of implementing policies lacked basic knowledge of their assigned functions.
He said noted that it was disturbing that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Executive hardly submit their Medium Term Sectorial Sector (MTSS) and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) documents to the House of Assembly.
According to him, the procedure is provided for in the fiscal responsibility law to enhance transparency and accountability in the budget process but it is hardly adhered to due to lack of capacity.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA) in his presentation on Mobilisation for Accountability queried the gender sensitivity of the Federal and State budgets.
He suggested increased demand for accountability by women and civil Society organisations and increased support for women groups to be involved in planning at all levels.
Aliyu said that part of the objectives of the committee include to raise profile of silent issues affecting the neglected poor and vulnerable people and to solicit government and public attention for positive change and social reorientation among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporta that members of the committee were drawn from the CSOs, MDAs, Women in Agriculture, stakeholding Cooperative groups and associations as well as the Media. (NAN)
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