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NGOs Charge State Government To Account To Citizens

By Chigozie Uzosike
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The Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights, CCIDESOR and its 129 SACE project partners have consistently charged the government of Imo State to account to citizens to enable them know what projects the government has for the state.

Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, the Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Emeka Ononamadu noted that such accountability documents include and are not limited to the state annual budget, the state annual audit and the state annual financial reports.

He opined “These information will be capable of motivating CSOs and Citizens to provide strategic voluntary support to the government of Imo state. We are all interested in making a new Imo possible, but such effort must be built on openness and accountability”.

“We don’t want to be guessing before we deploy our scare resources to help Imo state government. We also want government to demonstrate that they really need our support by making access to information much easier. We believe that many other organizations and individuals are also willing to support Imo government to succeed but the snag has been the non availability of critical accountability and fiscal information, like the annual budget, which are required to take appropriate decision”, he submitted,

Ononamadu regretted that the 2015 budget of Imo state cannot be found in the public space as they have continuously demanded, adding that even the Imo state annual audit or financial report for 2014 have not been sighted. He lamented that it is already just four months left before 2015 comes to an end, yet they cannot have access to 2015 budget of Imo state nor critical information on its implementation. .

“This is worrisome. It is worrisome because the transformation or change effort going on at the federal level does not have corresponding state level actions. We are therefore using this medium and opportunity to call on the government of Imo state to please release their 2015 budget to the citizens. We need to work together”, he posited

The human right activist, Ononamadu expressed concern that Imo state and its 27 LGAs have received all their entitled federal allocation up to the month of June 2015, revealing that in the month of June 2015, Imo state got over N5.3 billion for LGAs and more than this for the state government from federal allocations. This according to him, excludes the internally generated revenue and revenue from investment amounting to average of N13billion.

He however called on the government to end the crisis of non availability of budget, especially addressing the issue of non-payment of salary before the state is grounded.