Nigerians have been asked to take special interest in budget of local government where they reside.
Speaking at town hall meeting on Friday organized by ‘Say No Campaign Nigeria’ with MacArthur Foundation, Ezenwa Nwagwu, a co-convener of Say No Campaign said corruption needed to be fought from the grassroots right to the federal level.
Speaking to an audience which comprises of civil liberty societies, students and community leaders, Nwagwu said members of the community should participate in the fight against corruption in both public and private sector in the country.
Nwagwu who lamented that many Nigerians do not know that local governments do have budget for each fiscal year just like state and federal governments, said this create room for corruption and improper monitoring of the document.
He said Nigerians should take more interest in local government budget, follow up on it for it is a public document and affect their wellbeing.
He asked Nigerians to move from mere complaining about corruption practices in the government circle and act in their various communities and councils.
He also urged religious and traditional leaders to be more involved in the fight against corruption.
He said: “People look at corruption always from the perspective of money stolen from government offices. But every corrupt act is perpetrated by people who live in our communities, who attend mosques or churches in our communities.”
He said religious leaders and traditional rulers should begin to ask questions from their followers on execution of projects in their communities.
“Pastors and Imams should ask where the politicians get huge monies he or she brings to them all the time. We should ask who is executing which project and follow up its execution. Nothing will change if we keep quite over projects that are abandoned even when the contractors have received money,” he added.
He said the Maiduguri Town Hall meeting tagged Strengthening the Moral Institutions meeting was the fifth of such engagement in the country coming after that of Kano, Enugu, Lagos and Akwa-Ibom states.
He said the meeting was designed to steer up peoples’ interest on fighting corruption from the local or community level.
“At least every community in Nigeria has a church or mosque and traditional leader, ” he added.