The war against corruption is receiving a massive boost as people living with disabilities both men and women from various societies and organizations converged in Kaduna to for a 3 Days Capacity training workshop on the use of Freedom of information and Nigeria Disability Act.
The gathering which was organized by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) was a collaboration with the UK AID, Actionaid and other international non-governmental organizations to gauge the level of compliance with service providers for the Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the CCD, Mr David Anyaele who was represented by the Manager Administration and Finance of CCD, Mrs Florence Austin, said in an opening remarks that the centre is carrying out the project in Kaduna, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Lagos states.
” Why we chose these states is because we discovered some of the states don’t have disability act.
“So, we are also working with state actors in those states to see how we can leverage the disability act in the states.”
She said the program involved not only people with disabilities, but also women and youth, and was meant to build their capacity in using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to ensure the protection of their rights.
“The training would enable them to know on how to ask questions, because there are budget allocations for people with disabilities.
“By knowing the content of the Information act it would enable them to ask government questions about what was done with their money.”
The director said the aim was also to change mindsets, personal norms and perceptions, so that vulnerable people would not be relegated in accessing basic rights.
Prof. Dominic Badaiki, a Professor of Law at Ambrose Alli University, noted that people with disabilities were worse affected by corruption.
Badaiki said that the training was, therefore, to educate them on how to leverage the FOI to write petitions, ask questions and demand for accountability and social auditing.
According to him, the training would enable the participants to able to use some of the relevant sections of the Act in budget tracking and analysis.
He stressed that state actors must be made to answer for their actions and inactions, adding that accountability is a constitutional responsibility of every state actor and citizens have the right to participate in governance process.
“Every citizen has a right to know the governance process, the right to information concerning governance of their states, and information is necessary because it is the key to guaranteeing accountability of state actors.
“It’s also necessary because it is central to the existence of any human society and a major tool for fighting and exposing corruption and wrong doings,” the professor said.