By Chinedu Adonu
Labour leaders in Enugu State, has vowed to fight corruption in terms of scrutinising council budgets and projects within the state.
The labour leaders gave the assurance while speaking at a one-day Roundtable Dialogue: “Situating the Unions to Redefine Public Service Sector for Improved Efficiency, Transparency and Accountability’’.
Mr Ben Asogwa, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Enugu State Chapter, said that the labour unions were ready to partner Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, in their quest to tackle corruption at the council area level.
According to Asogwa, 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,’’ he said.
Mr Virginus Nwobodo, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Enugu State Chapter, said that corruption had remained the bane of development at all levels of government.
“There is a 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,’’ Nwobodo said.
Earlier, the Convener of Say No Campaign, an NGO, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, challenged labour leaders to rise up and ask questions on council area’s budgets and projects and follow it up to a logical conclusion.
According to Nwagwu, our roles as labour leaders in improving the quality of governance and service delivery cannot be overemphasised.
“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.
“If we are altruistic, through our efforts we can curb the plague of abandoned projects, shabby budget implementation and diversion of public funds. But we can only achieve this if we decide to take personal responsibility in carrying out our duties,’’ he said.
Speaking, Mr Dayo Olaide, Deputy Country Director, Mac-Arthur Foundation, said that “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. It is the responsibility of all to be able to Say No to Corruption and stand out for the truth and integrity,’’ Olaide said.
The workshop was organised by Say No Campaign and supported by Mac-Arthur Foundation.