CODE launches "Project Trust" in Anambra

CODE launches “Project Trust” in Anambra

A Non-Governmental Organization, Connected Development (CODE) has inaugurated its new intervention dubbed Project Trust, in Anambra State to address the problem of trust, which has characterized the relationship between the government and the citizens for decades. 

Project Trust, which is run under the theme “Deepening and institutionalizing accountability, social inclusion systems, and processes to promote resilience and sustainability in governance across Nigeria”, is being piloted in six states across all the geo-political zones, but is expected to be cascaded to 30 other states.  

Addressing participants during the stakeholders meeting, supported by MacArthur Foundation, Kingsley Agu, Community Engagement Director, explained that as an organization working to build stronger institutions, create access to information and empower citizens, CODE has identified distrust as an impediment to good governance and national development and has designed Project Trust to reverse the trend. 

“Project Trust is taking place in Kwara, Anambra, Bayelsa, Jigawa Yobe and Osun states across the six geo-political zones. We want to see CoPs influencing things in their states and scaling up to neighbouring states in their regions. 

“We are of the view that trust will be built when government of Anambra State for instance makes its programmes and interventions citizens-driven,” he stressed.

While reviewing the Baseline Research and data collected from Anambra State, Agu stressed the need for the CoP members to work towards improving some of the disturbing findings especially in the area of keeping the citizens abreast of every activity and programme of government. 

In a goodwill message, Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Chisom Uchem, welcome members of the community of practice who she described as partners in progress. “Personally, I am open to positive criticisms because we are here to right the wrongs. It is our collective problem and we should come together to address our problems. 

“As an agency, our office is open. Feel free to visit our PHCs and tell us what you see that is wrong and how we can get thing right. I do hope that this project will help us to get to our Eldorado in Anambra State,” she submitted. 

Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, (PRS), in the Ministry of Health, Edith Nwachukwu, was thrilled that the launch of the project had relevant stakeholder in attendance. “We are all partners in this and I am happy that every stakeholder is being carried along. Sustainability is key to achieving results. The ministry of health is aware of this project and we shall all partner to achieve its objectives. 

For his part, State Coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr Obiora Agbakwuru, said, “I am pleased to be to be associated with this project which CODE has come to implement in the state. I think if it is well articulated and implemented, it will bring good result. 

The disability community represented by Ugochukwu Okeke, Chairman, Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Anambra State, appreciated the theme of Project Trust which seeks to ensure good governance through social inclusion. 

“You cannot talk about good governance when some people are being excluded. I wish this project will also advocate for better implementation of freedom of Information, while hoping that the project will promote total inclusion for PWDs with structures being made accessible to them. We shall play any role expected of us to ensure the project succeeds,” Okeke pledged. 

The Woman Leader of Ozubulu in Ekwusigo local government area, Clara Ndupu, was excited that Project Trust is among other things aimed empowering the communities to demand accountability from their political leaders.

“We welcome the project. There have been a gap between the government and the communities and this project will bridge the gap. We pray as you have initiated it, you will not stop until it achieves the objectives,” she said.

In a remark, State Lead of Project Trust, Ujunwa Ananwude, on behalf of others, pledged the collective resolve of all the CoP members to discharge their duties with diligence and dedication. 

Highlight of the event, which featured many presentations on the roles of various stakeholders including relevant government officials in the implementation of Project Trust, was the activation of the Community of Practice by the Director, Community Engagement, Kingsley Agu.

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