By Lucky Isibor,
Edo Civil Societies have resolved to collaborate among themselves in advocacy to support Anti-corruption and rule of law in Edo State and Nigeria.
Members of various civil society organisations whose thematic areas of engagement are mainly in anti-corruption, budget monitoring, transparency and accountability made the resolution Thursday, 20th February at the inception meeting of the Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-corruption and Rule of Law in Nigeria (CASARN) project held at Vichi Gate Hotel in Benin City.
The CASARN project is being implemented by the African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, (ANEEJ). The project is part of the implementation of the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (ROLAC) programme which is funded by the European Union and and implemented by the British Council.
Welcoming participants to the CASARN inception meeting, the Executive Director, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor pointed out that is meant to enthrone good governance by contributing to strengthen the fight against corruption, rule of law and the protection of citizens’ rights.
While enumerating the expected outcomes of the project, Rev. Ugolor said, “the goal of the CASARN project is to enhance governance in Nigeria by contributing to the fight against corruption, strengthen rule of law and the protection of human rights by reinforcing prevention mechanisms and enhancing civil society and public engagement.
“The expected outcomes are improved oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of resources, and enhanced civil and public engagement and participation in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.”
Ugolor assured that the project will CSOs and media advocacy for the implementation of Open Governance Partnership commitments in Edo state as part of the over all effort to improve oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of resources just as it will beam search light freedom of information and procurement reforms.
While suing for effective collaboration with CSOs in the implementation of the CASARN project, the ANEEJ Executive Director appreciated the European Union, the British Council for funding the ANEEJ component of the ROLAC programme.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Edo state Procurement Agency, Henry Idogun said all contracts in the state are now openly bidded for. He pointed out “when there is transparency and accountability, corruption will be reduced”, hence the agency acquired the Edo ‘Monitor Me’, a software used to monitor work done on contracts awarded by the state government.