Anambra Citizens to Hold Leaders Accountable


Anambra citizens have been urged to hold their representatives accountable for the development of their communities and to further entrench through democracy.This charge was given by Hamza Aliyu a social commentator and the facilitator at the three day capacity building workshop organised by JUSTICE DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE CARITAS JDPC Awka, held at KING DAVID HOTEL AWKA.

He said its now time when community leaders should take on the state budget and look out for projects cited in their constituencies using it to approach their house of assembly members to ask questions why projects cited have not been executed. In his remark, the executive director JDPC Awka Rev Fr Levi Ukor admonished participants to take advantage of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE created by JDPC Awka to further speak out against the lack of political will exhibited by the legislators in the area of quality representation. Community legislative interactive platform CLIP its a platform created by JDPC Awka to improve the relationship between the legislators and their constituencies. He also used the opportunity to thank CATHOLIC CARITAS FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA- CCFN and CATHOLIC AGENCY FOR OVERSEA DEVELOPMENT-CAFOD,  for the massive sponsorship and partnership.In addition, the program manager CCFN Abuja, Sir Mark Asu- Obi charged the CLIP CLINIC TEAM to be resilient in the pursuit of community development stressing that there are more challenges ahead but can be surmounted with team work.Also speaking, the project officer of JDPC Awka, Nelson Nwaenyi gave a breakdown of the successes made so far on the CLIP project and also unveiled to participants the sustainability plan of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE and how it can work to develop communities.The highlight of the event was the inauguration of the CLIP CLINIC members from nine constituencies namely- Awka north, Awka south 1 and 2, Njikoka 1 and 2, Dunukofia, Anaocha 1 and 2, Orumba north. After three years of working on the CLIP project, it became necessary to institutionalize the project in order to deepen the impact made so far. Therefore the idea of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE  was created by the JDPC Awka, CLIP  PROJECT TEAM to make the communities own the project, manage the project and ensure the sustainability of the project in their community.

The term CLIP CLINIC  is defined as an organized grass root establishment, designed to  complement the work of the legislators in the area of satisfying primary community needs such as water, roads, school maintenance,  environment, provision of farm seedlings for productive agricultural practice.Furthermore,  CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE  is a mechanism to identify the basic needs/challenges of each community and working out strategies to provide solutions to them with the help of the community members and the government representative in that community.For proper tracking of these needs and providing corresponding solutions to them, we have situated these needs within the framework and structure of the state house of assembly committees on EDUCATION, HEALTH, AGRICULTURE and ENVIRONMENT. This is also in line with the CLIP project mandate, which is to entrench effective communication between legislators and community members on community development projects and policy legislation.Having effective communication between the legislators and the community members will further ensure accountability and transparency  in the manner at wish community development projects are carried out.The 3 day capacity building featured the following1. Presentation of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE by the project officer JDPC Awka, Nelson Nwaenyi.Participants numbering 36 from the 9 constituencies, made up of 22 male and 14 female, including young boys and girls, community leaders, women leaders, youth leaders and CLIP vanguards were all present at the workshop.They were taught about the rationale behind sustaining the CLIP project.They were taught how to become ambassadors of the CLIP CLINIC, Holding meetings with different stakeholders of the community in order to identify primary pressing needs of the community and working out solutions for them with the help of the legislators representing their constituency. Act as a reservoir for knowledge on Legislative Engagement.Working closely with the town unions of the community on governance.Create a structure that has the capacity to attract funds to carry out minor community projectsEngage the legislator representing their constituency and update him about failed projects in the communityGroup work/ brainstorm on the functionality of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE and Sustainability plan.  Participants were divided in three groups and were able to engage in some brainstorming sessions on the functionality and sustainability of the CLIP PROJECT.Group presentations After the brainstorming session, each group had its group leader who came out to present their findings and observations, as well as raising issues of future challenges that may be witnessed with the CLIP CLINIC especially in the area of funding.  Budget tracking, participation, monitoring and engagement of public sector budget by Hamza Aliyu.Participants learnt the following--That Public budgets and expenditures are the means through which public policies are translated into tangible and targeted developmental actions. They learnt that Government decisions on how  to  allocate  and  spend  financial  resources should have  its direct impact on the well-being of citizensHowever, the misallocation, wrong prioritization,  abuse  and  mismanagement  of  public  funds  pose  a  tremendous  challenge  for  the  efficiency  and  effectiveness  of  development  interventions  and poverty reduction.  They also learnt the importance of citizen participation and civil society involvement in processes of  public  budgeting  and  financial  management.They learnt about transparency and accountability with regard to public finances, building safeguards  against  corruption;  and  ensuring  that  public  monies  are  allocated equitably  so  that  the  interests  and  needs  of  poor  and  marginalized  groups  are adequately  addressed. Legislative engagement/Advocacy.Participants were made to understand that the most common means of legislative advocacy is direct lobbying, which entails contacting a legislator, sharing their views on an issue, and asking him or her to vote a specific way on a bill.  This can be done with something as easy as a phone call or letter, or by a formal meeting with the legislator or staff person.In its simplest terms, legislative advocacy is working with individual lawmakers and lawmaking bodies to gain support for their cause or initiative, for the needs of a specific population, for an organization or group of organizations, or for specific services Experience sharing---Participants at the workshop took turns to share their experiences on how they have been engaging their legislators. Some have been success stories while some were filled with bottlenecks.Communiqué

Development-At the end of the 3 day capacity building workshop, a communiqué was issued by the participants. The communiqué was signed by the community leaders from the nine constituencies present at the workshop, including the Executive Director of JDPC Awka, Fr. Levi Ukor.This exercise followed an official inauguration of the members of the CLIP CLINIC INNITIATIVE



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