By Lucky Isibor
The Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor has appealed to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media and the general public in Edo State to always engage the State Government to ensure regular monitoring of projects to minimise project abandonment in the state.
The ANEEJ Executive Director gave the charge at a Town hall meeting to discuss the report of “Budget Monitoring in the Education Sector of Edo State” organised by ANEEJ, adding that “this event is part of the the implementation activities under the ANEEJ’s Tackling human trafficking through advocacy to increase investment on human capital development and civic engagement in Edo State”.
Ugolor disclosed that the budget monitoring which resulted from the research it conducted on Corruption- Migration Nexus which created a platform for policy dialogue with relevant stakeholders after public presentation of the report.
“In line with the project’s goal, ANEEJ commissioned a research on Corruption-Migration Nexus and created a platform for policy dialogue with relevant stakeholders. We organised a press conference and held a public presentation of the report to relevant stakeholders for their inputs into the process. The project also ensured the training of CSOs, Media, Academia and citizens on Human Capital Development, Anti-Corruption, Budget Monitoring and Tracking.
“Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, EndSARS protest and other security challenges experienced in the state, the monitoring exercise only covered few projects in the the Education sector as against the initial plan to monitor other human capital development interventions in the state. Education is one of the key components in human capital development as captured from the 3-day training. Hence, the monitoring exercise covered the implementation of Edo State 2019/2020 budget.
While commending the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria for availing ANEEJ the funds which made the convocation of the event possible, Ugolor called on Edo State government to adequately mobilise contractors to site to enable them complete projects within the contractual time frame.
“The findings from the report are based on the implementation of the 2019/2020 Edo State Government budget. A total of twenty projects were assessed in the three senatorial districts of the state. 14 of the projects assessed have been completed, 5 on-going and 1 project yet to commence.
“There are a couple of recommendations contained in the report for Government and State House of Assembly. The law makers need to step up their oversight role. The Executive Arm of Government should adequately mobilize contractors to site to enable them complete projects allocated within the contractual time frame. CSOs, Media and citizens at large should always engage government to ensure regular monitoring of projects to forestall project abandonment”.