The Resource Center For Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED have called on communities to put up the challenge of knowing contractors who execute projects in their areas for effective accountability.
The Executive Director, CHRICED, Ibrahim Zikirullahi made the call in Zaria during a community media briefing on the state of UBE in Kauru, Kubau and Zaria LGAs.
Zikirullahi explained that they were at the three LGAs for Community Accountability Report Back sessions to discuss issues regarding UBE especially the lack of comprehensive need assessment as a precursor to the projects being executed.
“This is an area where as an organization, we have adopted proactive and sustainable approaches by encouraging communities to take up the challenge by documenting their needs through letters, community charters and project demands such that their basic education needs are clear enough to the agencies on the side of government”, Zikirullahi said.
He mentioned that, the communities are faced with the challenges of not knowing the contractors who are not executing projects in their areas, hence, making accountability difficult. “There is the need for deeper involvement of key community structures in the contracting process for openness and transparency”.
Zikirullahi further said, the community involvement would arrest issues of sub-standard materials for construction. It will also enable them interrogate the effectiveness of the use of UBE funds in the respective LGAs.
“We therefore advise the communities to act and not remain silent if the results on ground does not match the resources poured into the sector especially if government interventions within thier communities are not translating to qualify outcomes in terms of learning“, the Director stressed.
“As journalist, you have roles to play in the collective efforts to improve service delivery in the basic education sector. The role of the media in amplify the voice, concerns and initiatives in the communities cannot be over emphasised”.
The Director therefore called on all tiers of government to concert efforts and work towards the realization of the UBE goal, importantly with the new opportunity provided by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit guidelines which prohibits State Governors from interfering with resources belonging to LGAs.
Basic Education is one of such areas where cost effective and innovative projects can be executed to meet the needs of people especially in hard to reach rural areas where there are either no schools or very little attention is provided by the LGAs.