A youth advocacy group, Connected Development (CODE) says it is intensifying efforts to track government expenditure in critical areas to promote infrastructure development especially in rural communities in Africa.
Mr Hamza Lawal, CODE’s Chief Executive Officer, said on Sunday that the group had initiated a programme tagged “Follow the Money” to achieve its objective of ensuring that government focused more on infrastructure development.
Lawal spoke with newsmen in Lagos.
“CODE is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) that creates a platform of interaction between government and the people, while holding government accountable.
” Through our initiative, “Follow the Money”, we track where funds are coming from, where funds are going into, and most importantly, how those funds are utilised to impact on people in marginalised rural communities.
“We track expenditure in healthcare, environment and education in Nigeria and some other African countries,” he said.
Lawal said that the organisation, which was set up in 2012, had directly impacted on about 100 communities in Nigeria.
” We have worked in 17 states, over 100 communities, and have directly impacted on two million lives by using data to track government expenditure,” he said.
He added that the group was in support of young people taking charge of the political space and providing purposeful leadership in 2019.
“As the 2019 elections draw near, we are embarking on enlightenment and sensitisation of young people to make them understand that they are the leaders of today, not tomorrow.
“We need leaders who will not only manage available resources efficiently, but also mobilise additional resources and utilise them in the interest of all Nigerians, including the vulnerable and those in marginalised rural communities.
“We want leaders who see young people as partners in progress,” he said.
Celestina Ovegie, CODE’s Community Engagement Manager, also told NAN that the group was committed to bridging the gap of inequality between urban and rural communities in Africa.
She said that the group was committed to strengthening social contract between government and the people.
CODE recently embarked on tour of Nigerian universities to enlighten students and other young people on how to utilise available data to track government expenditure in Africa.