Connected Development in partnership with OXFAM has engaged civil Society Organisations in monitoring, evaluating and to provide supportive mechanism that ensures government and private sectors are hold accountable to the people.
At the two day workshop on PVP-F4A Capacity Building for Public Engagement and Participatory Governance in Calabar, the Programme and Research Associate, Connected Development (CODE), Dr. Onyenkachi Onuoha, said it is expected that CSOs get empowered as advocates and policy influencers for effective engagement with policy makers for the good of host communities and citizens as well.
According to him, that the Power of Voices for Partners Project is running in 13 countries, Nigeria inclusive and that it is being implemented in six states in the Niger Delta where they have extractive related issues.
“The capacity building for CSOs that we just finished organizing now was intended to capture civil society organisations but generally civil societies which include community leadership, youths, citizens and all other people who are citizens. It is expected that they get empowered not only to hold government accountable but to provide that supportive mechanism that ensures that the private sector, the government and all other people who are implementing projects are able to be accountable to the people so we want to instill that transparency and accountability in all of them.
“We want to see that in practical terms using monitoring and evaluation tools for which we have also train people within this capacity building that they monitor through to see that there has been improvement generally in terms of poverty and inequality and then we want to see that there is trade inequality amongst the said laws in various host communities.
“We want to see that there is fairness, there is equity income distribution and oil and gas companies are able to operate in areas that are considered to be conflict and operate within the laws and regulations of Nigeria and provide what is necessary for host communities to relate effectively with them. So in terms of trade, it should be fair, in terms of equity we should have that level of a redistribution of that income so that we will reduce inequality and poverty in Nigeria as well as other countries where the project is implemented.” He noted
Dr. Onuoha however, disclosed that the CSOs are also going to be part of institutional support and framework for organisations which promotes transparency and accountability to ensure young children imbibe in the spirit of accountability and transparency.
On his part, OXFAM Resource Person, Mr.Henry Oshie said the essence of the engagement is to get stakeholders involved in governments or private sectors projects situated in their communities.
He said CSOs should join their voices with that of the citizens through advocacy, monitoring and evaluation of processes.
“The essence of gathering these stakeholders here in Cross River is to see how we can get their buying as well in terms of ownership of a project and ownership of the process and also the result at the long run. We want our communities to also own the process, so it’s a sustainability mechanism to ensure that all stakeholders and partners are involved in the entire process.” Ushie maintained.