- Lack of transparency, poor social accountability and weak social contracts are affecting governance in Nigeria
- An initiative, Follow The Money, championed by young Nigerians is addressing some these issues
- In 2019, Follow The Money tracked over N1billion of public funds in Nigeria
PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Legit.ng News on your Facebook News Feed!
A social accountability movement driven by young Nigerians, Follow The Money, in 2019, tracked almost N1.3billion of funds budgeted for projects in 69 grassroots communities across Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the founder of the movement, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, at a press briefing and launch of Follow The Money 2019 impact report on Monday, August 17 in Abuja, the Nigerian capital
Follow the Money is one of the initiatives of Connected Development (CODE), Nigeria's leading advocates for empowering grassroots communities.
“In 2019, Follow The Money tracked NGN 1,277,500,000 (USD 3.5 million) budgeted for projects in 69 grassroots communities,” Lawal declared while calling for “improved first-mile health infrastructure and services.”
Lawal, a Malala Fund Education Champion, called for a state of emergency to be declared on education, “because of the alarming increase in the number of out-of-school children and campaigning for communities to access safe clean water, we impacted over 2 million lives.”
He continued: “We further saved the Nigerian people and the government the sum of N477 million by blocking financial leakages in funded rural community projects.
“Our work gained global recognition when Follow The Money emerged winner of the 2019 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Mobilizer Award and also won the Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award as the initiative advancing the cause of democracy.”
He revealed that the Follow The Money team is, however, faced with “threats for exposing misappropriation of funds, poor access to data to enable tracking of government funds, security issues in the northeast of Nigeria and limited funds in reaching more grassroots communities.”
“We, however, remain dogged in promoting a sustainable Follow The Money model to ensure that true democracy is achieved—where citizens are empowered in every sense and their collective voices are heard. In hindsight, it can be said that CODE experienced yet another year of growth and influence.
“With incredible support from the CODE team, our state champions, our partners and donors, we will continue to innovate better ways to hold the government accountable and advocate best policies in favour of marginalised communities.
“With each effort, we get closer to our goal of empowering Africa, one community at a time,” he concluded.
Last month, Lawal declined the invitation of the newly formed political movement; National Consultative Front (NCF).
In a press statement sent to Legit.ng on Monday, July 6, the revered activist expressed misgivings about the political coalition, stressing that he is comfortable with his work as an activist.
The NCF had listed Lawal amongst several prominent Nigerians it wanted onboard the new political movement ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The proceeds of corruption are taken to our religious houses | Legit TV