Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Catholic Diocese Lokoja, has been commended for its initiative to key into promoting good governance and democracy in Kogi State.
Hon. Haruna Idoko Musa, member representing Idah constituency in Kogi State House Assembly, gave the commendation during a one-day workshop for Kogi lawmakers on legislative oversight in Lokoja.
Musa, who declared the workshop open on behalf of Speaker Kolawole Mathew, noted that House committee clerks are the engine room of oversight functions in the Assembly. He expressed delight that JDPC invited all the committee clerks for the all-important workshop.
In a communique released at the end of the workshop and signed by the coordinator of JDPC Lokoja, Revd. Fr Leonard Odomeja, the participants resolved that a committee be set up by Kogi State House of Assembly to look into the various abandoned projects especially water projects across the state by way of conveying to appropriate quarters for completion.
“Legislators in Kogi House of Assembly should enhance their oversight functions as time representative of the people and voice to the common man. The management of Kogi Assembly should, as a matter of priority, train and re-train their legislators and staff for efficient and effective legislative responsibilities,” the communique reads.
Participants urges Kogi State government to always make enough copies of both draft and approved budget available for lawmakers, legislative officers, civil society organizations and other end users for reference purposes.
A former majority leader in Kogi Assembly, Hon. Yakubu Yunusa, said the posture of unchallengeable leviathan by state governors is a major challenge to successful oversight by state lawmakers.
Yunusa, in his paper presentation at the workshop, noted that the fact that the Governor automatically assume leadership of the winning party upon their election weakens other structures.
In his welcome address, Fr. Odemeja said JDPC has been able to assess the challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene in thirteen communities cutting across the three senatorial districts of Kogi State.
He noted that the significant improvement in sanitation and hygiene in Lokoja through the efforts of youths and volunteers is well monitored by JDPC. He attributed the slight improvement in water supply to Kogi communities likes Adankolo, Kabawa, Obangede and Ankpa as part of JDPC success story.