The Say No Campaign group has called on the National Orientation Agency to improve its service to Nigerians and ensure that negligence in governance service is reduced to the minimal stage.
The group led by its co-convener, Mr. Nwagwu Ezenwa during a courtesy visit to the office of the Director General National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari alongside Director Orientation and Behaviour Modification and Director Reform Co-ordination and Service Improvement, Director of Finance and Account, Mr. Balaribe Gabriel also had media representative present.
Ezenwa said some salient disturbing issues facing the nation includes negligence of the government in the areas of corruption and abandoned projects. He said it is the responsibility of the citizens to fight the war against corruption because they are the ones that are most affected by the aftermath of the effects of corruption.
“We are concerned about corruption, and it is the responsibility of citizens to fight corruption”
Ezenwa encouraged the DG’s attention to examine various instances, like the North East were people share away the money that was meant for IDP camp, even as the government directives was on to get the offenders and also some abandoned projects across the country.
He added that “over one thousand, one hundred public building facilities have been abandoned which is over Trillions of Naira across Nigeria which has gone down the drain. Just like the national library project for eleven years have been abandoned, the Niger State barge Hotel has also been abandoned, the fifty Billion Naira Mono Rail has been abandoned in Cross River State. This kept on repeating its self because citizens are not are not getting involve”
Ezenwa charged that the only way out of this issues is for government to hold all contractors responsible and accountable for the completion of contracts which will be backed up by law.
“There should be a law that will hold all contractors responsible for contracts awarded to them”
The co-convener explained that if the projects are left uncompleted, it is the citizens that suffer and so laws must be enacted to checkmate and punish offenders. This will ensure old projects are completed before new ones are awarded. In achieving this, he advised that citizens should begin to organize town hall meetings in their immediate environments on projects going on in those areas and insist that projects must be completed.
” Unless citizens get interested in doing this, projects will still be left abandoned”
Responding the Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari said he appreciated the visit by the delegation and declared that they too have been working relentlessly in tackling the issues that were raised
Dr Abari stated that “.. in line with these challenges of corruption, impunity, poverty, violence and other governance loopholes, National Orientation Agency will partner with the initiators of the aforementioned campaign”. This he hopes to achieve by having a roundtable meeting with the civil society organizations as he asserts that the fight against corruption is not just for the government but for the entire populace.
He added “we are going to embark on a project of a roundtable discussion that will bring in various people in the community that projects have been awarded, like the traditional rulers of the community, the political leader and the youths, health worker, NUT, different unions in the community and local government employees. We will speak to them in the language they understand for them to hold the government accountable on areas in which they have failed them”
One compelling thing we need to do in this fight he proceeded is that we need to work together to form a powerful arsenal in abating this national mayhem. He went on to reveal that the agency will focus on challenges of nation-building and developing synergy with the CSOs in tackling corruption.
The visit indeed achieved its goal as the collaboration between the National Orientation Agency and other civil societies will go a long way in monitoring implementation of projects and reducing corruption to its minimum.
Report by Aguda Oluwakemi.
Femi D Amele
Multi-Award Winning Journalist/Entrepreneur