The South Sahara Social Development Organization (SSDO) and Actionaid Nigeria have started training 30 community youth in Enugu State on Open Governance Engagement, to encourage good governance at the base.
Ms. Nkem Awachie, Project Manager for SSDO on Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA II), revealed this on Friday in Enugu during the youth training on Social Audit and Freedom of Information Act (FOI) ), capacity building on policy influence and taxation, among others .
Awachie said the majority of the youths were drawn from rural communities in the state so that they would be equipped with the basic knowledge and the will to hold the government to account at the grassroots level.
She said the training will also motivate them to ask questions, follow budgetary and legislative procedures in their council areas as well as track government spending and actions.
According to her, the training aims to influence and share knowledge on the basic things young people can do to maintain good governance and ensure that leaders at council or community level work for the good and the good. improving rural communities.
“The training will cover issues of local government budget proposal, planning. preparation and evaluation/monitoring; civic engagement on political education, political parties and the electoral process as well as tax issues.
“They will receive training on Gender Responsive Public Service (GRPS), how to build skills, knowledge and confidence in youth-led advocacy and how to positively influence government policies and programs to effect the desired change”.
One of the resource persons, Mr. Collins Nebo, said that poor governance had persisted at the grassroots level due to the lack of knowledge among locals about things going on at local government level.
According to him, some officials or political leaders use intimidation and harassment to silence anyone who questions any action taken by them at the local level.
“People, especially young people, do not have data or information about ongoing or proposed government projects and transactions, nor do they know where to go to get this information.
“However, with this type of training and young people becoming actively involved in their local politics and governance issues, the narrative will definitely change,” said Nebo, who is the executive director of New Century Initiative.
An Enugu-based civil society activist, Mr. Wilfred Okeke, said good governance is a right of the people and citizens, especially young people, they must demand it from those in public office.
“Our people should be wise and stop seeing politicians as doing them a favor when they work with people’s tenure and resources (money) to achieve projects for people in their localities,” said Okeke, who was also a resource person. .
He challenged young people in rural communities to awaken to their civic responsibility to ask vital development questions and to mobilize to act on them.
One of the participants, Mr. Uchenna Ayogu, said that after the training, he would share the knowledge and mobilize the youths within his community to find out how to follow up the ongoing social amenities projects in his community.
Ayogu, who is from the Igbo-Eze North local government area, said he and other young people need to get involved in local politics to ensure that “our people’s resources work for us”.
The three-day training is sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). (NOPE)