Network Canvases Open Budget by Govt.

BENIN CITY – The Niger Delta Anti-Corruption Network (NIDAN), a Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in collaboration with African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has canvassed for an open budgeting to be accepted in Edo State and Nigeria at large.

This position was made known by the CSOs at a strategic planning meeting/launching of NIDAN, Edo State chapter in Benin City yesterday.

Welcoming participant to the event, the communication officer, ANEEJ who doubles as Co-ordinator NIDAN, Edo State chapter, Kelly Ovie Umukor said the purpose of the forum was to raise awareness on the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

According to him, “The purpose is to make sure that the people are more informed on how to handle corruption which has become a bane in our developmental process as a nation.

“Since little is done to fight the issue, ANEEJ has decided to pilot NIDAN in Edo State to check corruption”, he added.

Speaking further, Kelly said the lunch of NIDAN is important and necessary to adequately spread the information that would enable the people fight corruption to a stand still.

“The body has vision and mission which we are prepared to pursue to ensure corruption is a thing of the past in the state”.

ANEEJ policy officer, Innocent Edemhanria said the launch of NIDAN is an attempt to expand membership of the group, adding that the Network has a focus which is centered on open budget and its level of transparency and accountability in budget processes as well as the level of information available to the public in terms of pre-budget preparation and budget statement quarterly.

“What the open budget system is saying is that government need to provide sufficient information for the ordinary person such that the information will assist ordinary citizen.

Individual should be able to have access to budget information as well as monitoring how its been implemented.

“The individual should be able to follow up and give his/her opinion on the budget”.

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Edo State governor on civil society, Comrade Kayode Iyasere commended the organizers of the forum, saying that it was timely especially now that 2015 is near.