Two groups operating under the umbrella of Niger Delta Open Government Observatory (NOGO), have urged state governments in the region to join the national fight against corruption.
They said one of the more feasible ways they rid the region of corruption is by embracing the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and also commit themselves to reforms that will ensure greater citizens’ participation, transparency, accountability and the deployment of technology and innovation in governance.
In a statement they jointly issued, the groups: Policy Alert and We the People, who co-facilitate an event, titled Observatory, to mark the 2018 International Anti-corruption Day, said that ‘’despite its abundant natural resource wealth which oils the wheels of the national economy, the region remains steeped in under-development while critical infrastructure continues to deteriorate.”
The NGOs’ leaders, Tijah Bolton-Akpan and Ken Henshaw, who signed the statements on behalf of their groups, lamented that “corruption has turned the Niger Delta into a basket case, a development paradox.”
According to them, “The region’s resources are plundered mindlessly while the environment is continuously poisoned because responsible people and institutions are selfishly looking the other way.
“It is worrisome that across several development indicators, including life expectancy, health, education and employment, the region’s performance remains below the national average.
“The biggest culprit for why things are the way they are is corruption. And a novel approach to dealing with the issue is to sign on to and implement the OGP, a platform that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create and implement specific commitments that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable,” they said.
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