NIDAN has undertaken another worthwhile project to minimize and prevent corruption as part of the Fight Corruption Project. The Niger Delta Anti-Corruption Network organized a sensitization roundtable on may 14th 2015 in SDN’s office in Port Harcourt that focussed on issues in the Niger Delta – specifically budget transparency, accountability and participation for improved services – and was made up of CSOs, activists, the media and government ministries.
The roundtable was created after key failures in major areas such as health and education due to corruption had been identified. Looking at certain issues in detail, the roundtable came up with what the key failures were and ideas on how to combat them.
The Fight Corruption Project was set up to end corruption through mobilizing Nigerian citizens to actively challenge cases of corruption and abuse of power in Nigeria. The Niger Delta is particularly vulnerable to corruption due to the wealth the oil industry produces. Corruption is one of the factors fuelling political violence throughout Nigeria, therefore the hope in setting up the sensitization roundtable was to reduce corruption and in turn violence.
Throughout the day key failures in governing both related and unrelated to corruption were identified. Two of the major areas discussed were failure in budget implementation and the failure in service delivery. It was widely agreed on that these failings were due to lack of transparency from political parties in budget information.
Also discussed were some basic ways in which to solve or prevent the major issues brought up by the investigation. One solution put forward was that citizens would become more involved with budget implementation in the local community, thereby promoting democracy and community. Another more immediate solution put forward was that the media and civil society should hold public officers accountable to their actions. The idea of CSO’s and the public tracking budget spending in their areas and protesting at any errors or corruption, was also put forward.
Through projects like these violence and corruption can be stopped making Nigeria’s future more and more peaceful.