By Smith Nwokocha
WOMEN UNITED FOR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (WUEE)
(An NGO for Women Economic Development) funded by UNDEF FNUD!
Activity: Launching of Local Government CSO’s Review Mechanism.
@ALDGATE CONGRESS HOTEL, Plot 308 Abacha Road, G.R.A Phase 3, Port Harcourt.
25th November, 2021.
The Executive Director of WUEE, Mrs. Iniobong Frank.
Opening Prayer…. Second stanza of the National Anthem.
Introduction by all participants including CSO’s present.
Launching of Local Government CSO’s Review Mechanism.
**The event is the Launching of the public forum workshop conducted in Rivers State which involves CSO’’s and citizens including LGA’s Chairpersons.**
**Three CSO’s and citizens where these Civic Education Projects were carried out was ask to give a goodwill message.**
Lolo of African Women Initiative (One of the CSO’s), was very happy working with Women United Economic Empowerment (WUEE) and UNDEF on this project, she further said, that last year and this year has been so impactful to the benefiting Communities on Good Governance and they have learnt not to sell their votes.
Another testimonial from Nwagere Foundation, an Implementing CSO, said, the project has touched the lives of rural communities and therefore appreciates WUEE and UNDEF, that one of the take home, was that the project changed lives of the citizens with regards to Good Governance and Accountability and thanked other implementing CSOs as well.
From Degema LGA, Dandison added his voice by appreciating and saying a big thank you to WUEE and UNDEF, he was happy that a community reached out that they want to embark on a Community Development Plan, that is a big plus.
Another Implementing CSO’s Capacity Enhancement Initiative carried out the project in Ahoada East LGA, and emphasized that the project was a great initiative, the kind of enlightenment from the project can be compared to none. The impact from WUEE and UNDEF will remain in the lives of the community dwellers and the Organization alike. The M & E model ensures Accountability and was re-assuring.
A Community Leader present at the event, said, he has never seen a programme like what WUEE and UNDEF has initiated and the impact of the programme on Good Governance and Accountability is mind-blowing. The programme has opened the eyes of the youths of the Community towards development.
Mr. Joshua, re-emphasized that, after the Civic Education programme, there was a focus group discussion in the Communities like Obio-Akpor, Port Harcourt City and so more…
Dr. Etim Okon: Gave an Overview of the Local Government CSO’s Review Mechanism (LGCRM).
Project Title: Strengthening Good Governance and Democratic Processes at the Local Level in Nigeria- (Rivers State). Focus Area: Local Government Administration Gap Analysis and it was sponsored by United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). Consultant: CDREA Consult.
Dr. Etim, emphasized that, the first thing is to identify the gaps that exist at the LGA’s level, then look at the Constitution. For 13 good years Nigerians do not know anything about LGA’s, but Decrees. Up till date, LGA’s are not reformed. However, LGA’s are the business of the States, because Nigerian Constitution is a rigid one, otherwise, why the interference by National Assembly. 45 years down the line, no reforms for the LGA’s. How do we demand Good Governance from the Local Government or our duty bearers?
Transparency and Accountability, one leads to the other. Cardinal principle of fair hearing originated between God and Adam during creation. We have; (i)State of Nature (ii) Social Contract and (iii) Government….. Government is the agent of the people, primarily. Government creates MDAs (Ministries) for the purpose of structure and in turn, the Ministries create Departments.
“Community Charter of Demand”; Look for innovative ways to demand for transparency and accountability from our duty bearers.
Understanding Joint Commitment and Consensus as a Component of Good Governance.
Dandison moderated the session on “Development of Action Planning for Achieving the Result of the LGCRM….Page 10 of the Book”. Some of the pointers from participants are;
Continuous enlightenment will help to engage in Political participation.
Get Citizens enrolled and registered in the forthcoming Election.
Encourage Citizens to know that their Votes counts.
Incentive to Vote should be done, outside financial rewards or gains.
Start a Movement (Operation hashtag #IHAVEREGISTERED to encourage Voter Registration.
A CPR session was facilitated by Mrs. Faith and the petition for promoting CPR can be accessed online via http://www.change.org .
In Closing, Emem J. Ekpo, thanked all participants for coming and actively participating all through the event. She specially appreciated the CSOs present and mentioned that nine (9) strong CSOs are standing for WUEE. Community Leaders and Chief presents and everyone at the events, God grant you all journey mercies to your destinations. Lunch was served and the programme came to a close.