Records only open to compatriots, not attacking dogs, Agba tells CSOs

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The Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, has said that the government will only allow Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), which it perceives as compatriots, have access into its record books.

Agba, who disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja during the Budgit 10th anniversary lecture, said that government record books were always open for partners working towards the growth of the country.

The minister, who argued that the current national development plan being prepared by the government was not only meant for the ruling party, said: “It was for the sake of transparency and accountability that the government included the three major political parties at the National Assembly, representatives from sub-national governments, CSOs, organised private sector and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to the 26 Technical Working Groups (TWGs).”

In his keynote address, Fellow, Harvard University, Frank Nweke (Jnr), who noted that the dynamic between leaders and citizens remains a key feature of progressive societies, insisted that ultimate sovereign authority reside with the people.

He regretted that those in authority and whom the authority is delegated sometimes forget and must be reminded of their duties and responsibilities to the people.

He said: “While it is the responsibility of all citizens to guard and protect the collective freedoms of society, in modern times, these responsibilities are being discharged in silos, around specific causes by so-called non-state actors or civic organisations, such as Budgit, that has functioned creditably in the public finance sector.”

Nweke said that the role of the citizens in demanding change and accountability underpinned the attainment of specific changes at various periods and cannot be discountenanced.

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