SERAP urges Nigerians to participate in procurement process

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Nigerians to participate in the budgeting and procurement processes to promote accountability in government.

The organisation made the call at a workshop it organised on Monday, June 26, to train citizens on budget processes and other strategic actions that can promote accountability in managing Nigeria’s resources.

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) Jonathan Ebe, who trained citizens on understanding the budget, said participating in budgeting and procurement processes can help in guaranteeing the efficient use of public funds.

“The budget process lies at the heart of governance. It determines how public funds are allocated and spent. So by understanding this process, we can contribute to more efficient and equitable resource distribution to reduce corruption rates and foster public confidence in our governance institutions.

“There is a process to how government budgets for projects. When the process is done appropriately, we see a lot of gains. We see positive results in service delivery and we also see an increased level of public trust,” Ebe said.

Nigerians invited from various parts of the country were present for the workshop, which also covered the country’s audit processes.

Deputy Director, SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare, said the workshop was necessary to strengthen citizens’ awareness and involvement in governance.

“What we have found is that mostly, while citizens appear to be disenchanted with the benefits of good governance and democracy, they do not really have the wherewithal -sometimes it’s a matter of tool, it’s a matter of knowledge and the skill- to engage the government.






     

     

    “Politics affords them the opportunity to go to the polls every four years to choose who represents them at the federal and the state level. But governance is a continuum, so advocacy for governance will continue irrespective of who wins or who loses at the polls, he said.

    The Deputy Director added that the workshop was part of efforts to bridge the knowledge gap and educate citizens on what their rights are, equipping them with relevant tools to engage the government.

    Oluwadare also noted that there were laws which should check government excess but identified a lack of implementation as an obstacle.

    “It is not because we have these agencies or laws in that regard. What has been the problem is the impunity with which these laws are broken and nothing gets to happen. So that forms our education to citizens that there are laws,” he said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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