BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—ANAMBRA State Government Tuesday inaugurated the Vanguard for Good Governance for the 21 local government areas of the state.
At the inauguration, the state Chairman for Good Governance and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Professor Chinyere Okunna, urged members to evolve strategies for monitoring and ensuring that communities took ownership of projects sited in their areas.
Six local government areas out of the 21 in the state had served as pilot areas for the exercise being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP. It was based on the success recorded by the pilot councils that informed the decision to extend it to the remaining 15 local governments.
Essentially, the objectives of the committee christened, ‘Society for Sustainable Development’, are to promote public participation in leadership through community mobilisation and capacity building; monitor public service delivery and improve transparency in leadership; ensure reduction of extreme poverty among rural dwellers; and integrate anti-corruption measures into public sector management.
Inaugurating the members in Awka, Professor Okunna said the committee became necessary because government saw the need to embark on reforms that would help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs by 2015, especially in the most critical areas and commended the UNDP for its encouragement to the state in the execution of the programmes.
According to her, “Since the setting up of the pilot committee in six local government areas, the UNDP and other international partners had acclaimed it because of the positive results achieved and they have recommended it for other states.
” Anambra State, as a government, has pledged to provide good governance and is willing to learn and accept corrections and that is why we have carefully selected members of the committee who will permeate the entire state and help in fast tracking development through proper monitoring of projects.”
“With the policy of the state government to develop all sectors of the economy simultaneously through the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy, ANIDS, you must therefore evolve strategies for carrying out your assignment, especially as every community has projects being executed by the state government.
“There is also the need for you to make the people appreciate the importance of taking full ownership of projects sited in their communities to ensure sustenance.”