ActionAid inaugurates Enugu   IFAS  

A Non-Governmental Organization,ActionAid Nigeria , has set-up an inclusive forum for good governance,tagged,” Inclusive Forum For Accountable Society ( IFAS) in Enugu state

Speaking at the meeting of the group on Thursday in Enugu, , the Head of Programme, Celestine Odo, said IFAS ,was formed to create a linkage  with the Government, Civil Society Organizations,Non- Governmental Organisations  , Community leaders and  to get the citizens  to understand  what their obligations are to the state and the state, to know what it’s obligations are to the citizens.

Pix- Arowosegbe

He said  most citizens do not know their rights that , they do not know that they can hold government accountable.

” You have the rights to ask questions on what the government is doing you have the right to ask questions about what you have in the budget. He added that citizens should be part of budget planning and monitoring .

Odo noted that. Citizens have the responsibility of paying taxes while government uses the revenue generated to provide social amenities for the citizens.

He  said there were many ways to get the Government to be accountable. It could be done through negotiation, protest among others

Pix- Odo

Odoh explained that ActionAid Nigeria is a member of ActionAid Federation; a global movement of people utilising the Human Rights Based Approaches to eradicate poverty and engender social transformation. 

“We have footprints in about 70 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. We work with people living in poverty, the poor and excluded. He said they had been in Enugu state for more than five years and had intervened in different projects in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state and 62 communities.

Pi3– Perm.Sec , Budget and Planning,ClaraEzeh

In her Goodwill message ,the Permanent Secretary,Enugu State ministry of Budgeting and Planning, Clara Ezeh assured the Forum of the state Government ‘s support. She said the state government followed the right procedures for budget planning and the citizens were part of the process. She however said implementation.of Budgets sometimes may be difficult because of lack of funds. Eze explained that implementation depends on the revenue generated .

Pix- Seun Akioye

On his part, Manager, Social mobilisation, , ActionAid,Nigeria, Seun Akioye while speaking on sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)  said Nigeria has the resources to end poverty but bad management is the problem. He said ActionAid Nigeria had intervened in poverty eradication in Enugu state and had mobilized women and empowered them, some were trained on Agro- economy,some farmers were given seedlings to improve their yields. He disclosed that they wanted farmers to come together and form a cluster, and own their farm settlement. That he said, will enable them to run their farms, sell their produce and be empowered.

He said other interventions of ActionAid in in Enugu state included building of schools, Heath centers, sinking of 4, renovation of schools and health facilities. He added that they also intervened in training for women and youths on Agro- economy in some communities in the state ,to enable farmers have better yields.

Akioye said they had received an official recognition from the Enugu state government and will work better than before. He advised Government to get closer to the people, know their needs and  provide for them.

Pix- Miriam Menkiti

Others who spoke were Kehinda  Arowosegbe, Manager, Partnership and Local Rights Programme,ActionAid Nigeria   and Miriam Menkiti, Executive Director, Women Information Network( WINET). 

Arowosegbe said IFAS is aimed at mobilizing the people, NGOs,CSOs, to get  Government to do what it should do to be able to achieve  some of the SDGs in Nigeria and Enugu state. He said for ten years, they will be mobilizing citizens to know their right and hold governor accountable.

On her part, Menkiti said WINET’s partnership with ActionAid is on peer education with the women.. She said the setting up of the IFAS  forum is to get communities come together and get the government accountable .

The meeting was attended by members of the Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the state government.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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