Wadata Media and Advocacy center (WAMAC) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation have convened a town hall meeting with critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Enugu state.
In a statement made available to ‘Media Smarts Nigeria’ by the Executive Director/Project Manager of the WAMAC, Zubair Abdurrauf Idris, saying the meeting with a pivotal theme: “Accountability issues in the payment of local government pensioners in Enugu state.” Held in Enugu, Enugu State, today (Saturday) 9th September, 2023.
“This event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders committed to amplifying the fight against corruption
“Participants in this influential gathering hailed from various sectors, including the media, civil society organizations, people with disabilities (PWDs), community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), pensioners’ associations, labor leaders, and the Honorable Commissioner of Information, Enugu State.” The statement read in part
According to him, the town hall Meeting culminated in a series of vital resolutions aimed at accelerating the fight against corruption through enhanced community participation.
These resolutions are outlined as follows:
Addressing Governance-Governed Disconnect: The meeting recognized the prevailing mistrust and lack of accountability in pension administration within Enugu State and identified the need to bridge the gap between the government and the governed.
Active Stakeholder Engagement: Participants called for the active involvement of stakeholders to ensure the timely payment of pensioner entitlements and arrears, commending the Enugu State government for restoring hope to local government pensioners.
Combatting Transactional Corruption: The Town Hall Meeting identified transactional corruption as a significant challenge in pension administration due to a lack of transparency and accountability tracking processes.
Prompt Remittance: Challenges faced by pensioners in other parastatals were acknowledged, and attendees urged local government chairmen to promptly remit funds to the Local Government Pension Board for the timely payment of pensioners and arrears.
Support for Anti-Corruption Agencies: Participants advocated for the continued enforcement of mandates by anti-corruption agencies, EFCC and ICPC, emphasizing the importance of preventive measures and enforcement.
Commendation for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs): The meeting commended CSOs for their dedication and advocacy in the fight against corruption, while urging governments to ensure pensioners receive their entitlements promptly.
Addressing Social and Electronic Crimes: Concerns were raised about social crimes, including cybercrimes and human trafficking, which were deemed detrimental to development. Participants called for social inclusion for PWDs and the implementation of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) measures.
Pension Scheme Review: The Town Hall Meeting applauded the Enugu State government’s establishment of a committee comprising pension administration stakeholders and labor leaders to review the Pension Scheme with a view to adopting the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Acknowledgment: The meeting expressed gratitude to DREAM FM Radio, Enugu, and other media organizations, as well as Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) and the MacArthur Foundation, for their unwavering efforts in the fight against corruption.
This communique, undersigned by Executive Director/Project Manager, Zubair Abdurrauf Idris, represents the collective efforts and commitment of all participants to promote transparency, accountability, and the eradication of corruption in Enugu State.