From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The organized Labour in Enugu state yesterday vowed to turn henceforth, its searchlight on the local governments in the state to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability.
Leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) who disclosed this at a one-day workshop on “Roundtable Dialogue: Situating the Unions to Redefine Public Service Sector for Improved Efficiency, Transparency and Accountability,” noted that corruption was in the increase in the country and labour would not keep quiet.
They pledged to fight corruption in the state starting with scrutinizing local governments’ budgets and projects.
Speaking at the workshop, the State TUC Chairman, Comrade Ben Asogwa, assured that the labour unions were ready to partner Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in their quest to tackle corruption at the local government level.
He said, “This workshop is timely and we are ready to partner with sincere CSOs to ensure that corruption leading to projects abandonment at the Council areas would be a thing of the past.
“Corruption is increasing in the country and we cannot continue to watch while our common patrimony is been squandered by a few corrupt individuals. Things cannot continue this way and it is in the interest of our future and generations unborn to fight and kick-out corruption in the state.
“We are ready to partner with serious and sincere CSOs to tackle corruption leading to budget misappropriation and outright projects abandonment especially in our council areas.”
The State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Virginus Nwobodo, on his part stressed that that corruption had remained the bane of development at all levels of government hence the “need to have collective and concerted efforts to deal with corruption especially the ones perpetrated at the Council level.
“This can be possible by widening the engagement and working in partnership with serious-minded CSOs to check corruption and corrupt tendencies in council area.”
Earlier, the Convener of Say No Campaign, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, had challenged labour leaders to rise up and ask questions on Council area’s budgets and projects and follow it up to a logical conclusion.
He said, “Our roles as labour leaders in improving the quality of governance and service delivery cannot be overemphasized. We have a responsibility to deliver our duty with utmost diligence and to guide the government to live up to its mandate. We simply cannot fail.
“It is important that we become more intentional in working to uplift our society and our people even those in rural areas. Being in the system, we can bring so much value to citizen oversight of government projects and initiatives, in a way that benefits the society.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Country Director, Mac-Arthur Foundation, the organizers of the workshop, Mr. Dayo Olaide, said, “Corruption holds back progress of democracy and people benefiting from democratic dividends. As a people, we must rise to stop corruption and its threat to our existence and the generation unborn.”