A survey carried out by Accountability Lab Nigeria, in collaboration with Ford foundation, has revealed that lack of political will by elected representatives has remained one of the factors causing underdevelopment in some communities in Akwa Ibom State.
The Program and Learning Manager of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Mrs Ehi Grace, who stated this on Saturday during a Town Hall meeting with some stakeholders in the State, disclosed that the conclusion of the survey was based on the findings in Upenekang and Uquo in Ibeno and Esit Eket local government areas of the State.
Mrs Ehi, while decrying the reported cases of impunity within the system, said the group was working towards building accountability and improving on the decision-making processes through citizen engagement and inclusion.
She regretted that majority of community members are aware of their powers in holding elected Representatives accountable through effective citizens’ participation but have failed to do so.
She also called for the establishment of a social contract policy between government stakeholders and the community, as such would impact on the community, positively.
The statement read in parts, “we want to ensure communities in the Niger Delta have an improved understanding of their rights and are better equipped to advocate for improved policies in Public and Private decision making spaces, hence, critical data were collected from communities on their challenges.
“We discovered that public funds diversion for personal use and lack of political will by government stakeholders and elected representatives are major reasons for the slow-paced development in sampled communities of Akwa Ibom.
“Our goal is to end impunity within government by building accountability and improving decision-making processes through citizen engagement and inclusion.”