- The organised labour in Borno state say they are ready to tackle corruption in the state
- The leaders made the promise after attending a one-day town hall meeting organised by PAACA
- At the event, labour leaders in Borno were trained on how to use social audit as an impactful anticorruption activity
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The organized labour in Borno on Saturday, August 8, inaugurated a Labour Union Anticorruption Working Group in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The initiative was taken after leaders of the organized labour attended a one-day town hall meeting organised by the Peering Advocacy And Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA), in conjunction with Action Aid, held in the state capital.
Organisers of the event say the event is geared towards co-opting the unions into the campaign against corruption and maximise their influence in the society as change agents in the anti-graft war.
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Speaking at the event, the general secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboajah, represented by Comrade Ishaku Monday, stated that corruption has been a persistent phenomenon in Nigeria, urging labour unions to join PAACA in the anti-graft war.
He said: “Corruption has stunted the growth of our economy, fostered insecurity, poverty and promoted job losses and unemployment and also has largely impacted negatively on the well-being and welfare of workers and all citizens of Nigeria.
“Nigeria's public procurement sector is known to be rife with enormous misconduct and considered the grand source of political corruption in our country.
“It is acclaimed that the public procurement sector breeds financial leakages, funds misappropriation and all other forms of corruption in the public sector.
“But, the new narrative is gradually gaining momentum, which is that corruption starts with the Nigerian public system. It is one of the indices that has contributed to the increasing rate of corruption in Nigeria.”
At the event, labour leaders in Borno were trained on how to use social audit as an impactful anticorruption activity in bringing the menace to the barest minimum in the state.
The unionists were also tasked on how to develop and adopt an effective strategy in their social audit function as key stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
On his part, the Executive Director of PAACA, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, reminded participants on the need to take personal responsibility for fighting corruption in their various unions.
He stated that trade and labour unions in Nigeria have the intellectual capacity to fight corruption in the country.
Speaking on the use of social audit as a tool for fighting corruption, he said: “Social audit is a community-led process of reviewing official documents to determine whether the public expenditure and service delivery outcomes reported by the government really reflects the public money spent and the services received by the community.”
At the end of the meeting, the Organised Labour in Borno state issued a communique on their resolutions which was sent to journalists.
Part of the resolutions was among others, the inauguration of a community of Organized Labour Union Anticorruption Working Group co-chaired by the chairmen of the Borno state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC)
The union leaders also pledged to carry all members of their respective unions along to ensure that social audit begins across the state with union members driving the initiative.
Speaking at the event, the Borno NLC chairman, Comrade Bulama Abiso, commended PAACA for bringing the town hall meeting to the state.
He assured that Borno state chapter of the NLC will chart a new course and bring a positive change to their communities.
His words: “We'll take up the challenge and organise Borno state to fight corruption within and outside government and labour circles.
“We're aware of the problems caused by corruption in our society. We're very sensitive about the problems and with this training, we have been equipped to tackle them head-on.”
Also speaking, the TUC chairman in the state, Comrade Bulama Mohammed Hamma said: “We've learnt a lot and today's workshop is going to be the stepping stone to the next level.”
Recall that earlier this year, PAACA trained traditional and religious leaders on the use of the Freedom of Information, FOI Act to promote institutional transparency and accountability.
How Nigerians should fight corruption - civil society group | Legit TV