Labour leaders in Enugu State on Thursday pledged to fight corruption by scrutinising the budget of local government councils and projects in the state.
The labour leaders made the pledge at a roundtable on how to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability in public service.
Ben Asogwa, the chairperson, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Enugu State Chapter, said that the labour unions were ready to partner civil society organisations to tackle corruption and project abandonment at the local government councils in the state.
Mr Asogwa said the workshop was timely.
“Corruption is increasing in the country and we cannot continue to watch, while our common patrimony is being squandered by a few corrupt individuals.
“Things cannot continue this way. It is in the interest of our future and generations unborn to fight and kick-out corruption in the state,” he said.
Virginus Nwobodo, chair, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Enugu State Chapter, said corruption has 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 the council area,” Mr Nwobodo said.
The Convener of Say No Campaign, a non-governmental organisation, Ezenwa Nwagwu, challenged labour leaders to rise up and ask questions on the budgets and projects of local government councils in the state.
Mr Nwagwu said the roles of 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,” he said.
Continuing, Mr Nwagwu said, “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.”
Dayo Olaide, the deputy country director, Mac-Arthur Foundation, said “corruption holds back progress of democracy.”
“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,” Mr Olaide said.
The workshop was organised by Say No Campaign and supported by MacArthur Foundation.
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