By Iduozee Paul Benin
As corruption continues to destroy institutions in Nigeria, stakeholders from various segments of the society have decried the resultant level of underdevelopment in the country. The occasion was a roundtable sensitization/discussion programme organized by Edo State NOA in Benin City.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the programme, participants urged government at all levels to create a conducive environment to attract investors and make business to thrive and develop human capacity.
They also called on government to properly fund security to put an end to insecurity in the state and Nigeria at large, and encourage the citizenry to make use of social media to wage the fight against corruption.
They charged citizens to access information on government activities, as this will form the basis for sustainable democracy and wake up to their responsibilities by optimally employing the use of the Freedom of Information, FOI Act to drive accountability and promote development in Nigeria.
They decried the paucity of funds, which has incapacitated NOA, and solicited for increased budgetary allocation and urged government to give account of its stewardship on yearly basis to enthrone good governance.
In her speech at the event, the Edo State director, NOA, Mrs. Grace Eseka Ewere, said the one day roundtable sensitization/ discussion programme for stakeholders was aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and stewardship in governance through the understanding and application of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
The NOA boss said the agency is saddled with the mobilization of the citizenry towards government policies, programmes and activities as well as public enlightenment.
Democracy she stressed, is still the preferred system of government.
“The Agency is also responsible for leading citizens’ engagement and empowering commitment to the second National Action Plan (NAP II) of the Open Government Partnership in addition to publicity of FOI, Act 2011.
“You will agree with me that the world over, democracy has become the most preferred and acceptable system of government. This is understandably so because it recognizes the fact that, sovereignty lies with the people.”
In attendance were representatives from different government organizations including, the Code of Conduct Bureau(COB) the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Civil Society Organization (CSO), NOA heads in some local government areas in the state.