By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN—Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, yesterday, said the diversion of funds meant for development in the Niger Delta region was responsible for the under-development of parts of the region.

•Hon. Philip Shuaibu

He advocated execution of projects that have direct impact on the people of the region.

Shaibu spoke at a programme tagged Participatory and Response Governance for Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta, in Benin, yesterday.

The programme was organised by Niger Delta Institutions Learning Event, in conjunction with USAID, Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment, LITE-Africa and Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ.

Represented by the Chairman of Edo State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation, Damian Lawani, Shaibu said the government must use the bottom-top approach in project execution in the region.

He said: “It is unfortunate that some of those who are supposed to ask these questions are friends to those whose duties are to monitor the utilisation of these funds.

“We must educate the people that their interest is what is at stake, so they must ask questions relating to how these funds are utilised.”

In his welcome address, Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, said the aim of the programme is to engage government agencies saddled with implementing development in the region to strengthen transparency and accountability.

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