By Chioma Ndife
Sequel to the introduction of Community and Legislative Members Interactive Platform (CLIP) Project that promotes citizenry and legislators interaction, the Justice Development and Peace (Caritas) Commission of Awka Diocese has okayed Hon. Peter Ibida's open door constituency administration.
The group commended the legislator for adopting the policy on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 during a courtesy visit to the member representing Njikoka II Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly.
The Advocacy brief issued by JDPC Awka Diocese to the member representing Njikoka II Constituency, borders on Community Charter of Demand, running an open and accessible budget document in the State House of Assembly, State of Anambra Disability Right Bill, Local Government Autonomy Bill and running a functional constituency office.
JDPC through the brief, disclosed that most community members argued that the content their community development projects as contained in their charter of demand submitted to the ministry of Economic planning and Budget are barely captured in the budget of the state.
It reads in part 'knowing that the budget cannot capture all the development projects of all communities given to scarce resources, we are proposing a situation where honorable members can factor in the component charter of demand of communities under their constituency to reflect in the budget during Budget Defense by respective MDAs. We believe this would project the state as s state that develops community and people driven budgets.
The Program Officer of JDPC in Awka Diocese, Onyekachi Samuel Ololo who presented the Advocacy Brief, proposed that citizens need to have access to the development allocation made to their communities from their representative when they so desire, in order to track and evaluate the project attracted to their communities for effective execution.
The brief also called on legislators to operate functional constituency offices and make available, the time and days of opening the office for the communities' members who have genuine interest to have easy access to them.
Addressing the group, Hon. Ibida revealed the constituency projects embarked upon in Njikoka to ensure that youths of the various communities were empowered.
Speaking on the issues contained in the Advocacy brief, he disclosed that the budget of Anambra State wasn't detailed, as most projects carried by the government was tied to revenue generated in the state. He noted that the bill on LG autonomy needs to be reintroduced while the disability right bill would be passed in the house by the next sitting.
He hinted the group that he operates an open constituency office and had turned his house to another office due security reasons and ensure that people in the constitutency have easy access to ensure effective representation.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the Programme Manager for Good Governance Project, Caritas Nigeria, Abuja, Mark Asu Obi said it was more economical to run one's office from the house, noting that the home remains private as it would be difficult for a public figure to come to the home. He advised the house member to have the day and time when he stays in the office to listen to the people who are not so comfortable with visiting his home. He commended him for the visible projects carried out for the good of the constituency, saying that the impact of good governance could be felt in the constituency.
JDPC Programme Officer, Samuel Ololo (4th right) presenting the Advocacy Brief to Hon. Pete Ibida, Member Representing Njikoka II in Anambra State House of Assemble(4th left). 3rd left is the Caritas Nigeria Delegate from Abuja on Monitoring Visit, Mark Asu Ob