By Gabriel Ewepu

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Monday, maintained that Civil Society Organisations and Media will hold the government at all levels responsible for human capital development.

This was contained in the address of welcome by the Executive Director, Rev David Ugolor, represented by Deputy Executive Director, ANEEJ, Comrade Leo Atakpu, at the opening ceremony of a 3-day workshop supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria for CSOs and media practitioners on Human Capital Development, Anti-corruption, and Budget Monitoring and Tracking in Benin, Edo State.

According to Ugolor the workshop came in few days to the inauguration of Obaseki as Governor of Edo State who last week pledged to be dedicated and do better in his efforts to boost human capital development during his second tenure with a view to building on efforts made in his first tenure.

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Meanwhile, the workshop will focus on; An overview of the Edo State government budgets and provisions for human capital development over the past three years and Review the structure of existing human capital development interventions in Edo State; Understanding Anti-corruption issues, structures, and institutions in the country. Present an overview of budget monitoring and reporting.

Agree on key government interventions in the 2019/2020 budget of Edo state for CSOs monitoring and advocate for an increase in Public Spending on Human Capital Development programmes. And lastly, discuss advocacy issues and agree on points for increased investment in human capital development in Edo State.

He said: “This workshop is coming few days to the inauguration of re-elected Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki who only last week committed to dedicating the better part of efforts of his second tenure to Human Capital development, with a view to building on efforts laid in his first tenure. Holding the Governor accountable to this commitment is the responsibility of Civil Society and media actors in the State.

“Furthermore, the timing of this event is apt as the state is currently facilitating the MTEF through the ministry of budget to allow for citizens input into the 2021 budget.  It is expected that at the end of the workshop, CSOs will identify projects, monitor, and track the implementation of human capital development projects in the 2019/2020 Edo state budget.

“CSOs will also develop an advocacy plan for engagement with the Edo State government on increased investment and budgetary allocation to support human capital development in the state as well as public awareness activities.

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“ANEEJ will present findings and recommendations of the monitoring exercise to the public and relevant stakeholder to drive investment in human capital development projects in the state. The ultimate goal is to advance interventions of government in subsequent budgets as a way to curb illegal migration.”

In appreciating the Swiss Embassy for funding the 3-day workshop through ANEEJ, he (Ugolor) also explained that the event is part of the implementation under ANEEJ’s ‘Tackling Human Trafficking through Advocacy’ to increase investment in human capital development and civic engagement in Edo State.’

He also expressed optimism that the goal of the project will improve the knowledge of citizens, media, and policymakers around the issues of good governance and Open Budgetary Processes that support civic engagement.

“This is also in furtherance of the Open Government Partnership of both the Federal Government of Nigeria, a global initiative that Edo State Government has signed on to.

“One of the project’s objectives is to provide Civil Society Organizations the knowledge to advocate for change in current approaches in combating irregular migration vide advocacy for human capital development, budget monitoring/public spending, anti-corruption and good governance policies and programmes”, he added.

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