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Activists want Imo budget, financial records publicised



Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha

• Urge Assembly to pass anti-violence bill

A COALITION of over 130 human rights bodies has asked Governor Rochas Okorocha to make the state’s financial records available and accessible to the public to enable indigenes follow up with government activities.

Similarly, director of the non-governmental Development Dynamics, Dr. Jude Ohanele, has expressed concern at the pendency of the bill on elimination of all forms of violence at the Imo State House of Assembly.

Speaking at an advocacy meeting in Owerri, Ohanele regretted that many persons have continued to suffer untold hardship and all forms of violence, torture and other forms of inhuman treatment without sanctions for the perpetrators.

In a statement on behalf of others by the Director of Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), Emeka Ononamadu, the Director of Open Community Initiative, Marcel Iwuajunwa, and the Director of Grassroots Development Initiative, Chris Okororie, they claimed that what is being brandished is not the real and comprehensive budget.

According to the statement, such documents that aid accountability include the annual budget, the annual audit and financial reports, among others, and will motivate CSOs and citizens to provide strategic, voluntary support to the Imo government.

It noted: “We are all interested in making a new Imo possible, but such effort must be built on openness and accountability. We don’t want to be guessing before deploying our scarce resources to help the state. We also do not want to provide support that is already covered in the state’s annual budget.

“We believe that many other organisations and individuals are willing to support the Imo government but the snag has been the non-availability of critical documents and fiscal information. As we speak, the 2015 budget cannot be found in the public space. We have also not sighted the annual audit or financial report for 2014.”

The group added: “It is worrisome because the transformation or efforts going on at the federal level appears to be in reverse gear at the state level. The challenge is that we are not sure of the position of state budget beyond the rumour that the new Assembly has passed and forwarded it for signing.

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