The Information Action Centre Initiative is an intervention sponsored by the Delta State Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 7th country programme. It was established in September 2012. The project is entitled to promoting public participation in Budgetary and development process in Delta State in order to increase citizen’s voice in Governance and create an environment conducive for greater participation.
The Information Action Centre is run by competent Community Based Organizations (CBOs) domiciled in local Government Areas and is open to the public. The IACs receive reports and complaints from Communities concerning abandoned, ongoing or completed projects but not in use while the Information Action Center Staff then verify these reports to ascertain their true state and take pictures after which the reports are collated based on what have been verified and forwarded to the Managing CSOs. The CSOs in turn would send their reports to the coordinating CSOs who finally collates and send to ODA and Public Complaint Desk where action is taken.
Global Peace Development is currently managing the Information Action Centres located in Delta Central Senatorial Zone. They are located in the Council Secretariats in:
- Ughelli North
- Ethiope East
Each Information Action Centre has a manager and a seconder staff (preferably a staff from the Local Government Area) who can easily access Information at the Local Government Area. They have the responsibilities of running the Office by receiving visitors, complaints on projects, verify information received and reports to the managing Community Based Organization (CSOs).
COMMUNITY OUTREACH, SENSITIZATION AND ADVOCACY
Since the establishment of the Information Acton Centre, various community outreaches, sensitization and Advocacy engagement have been made in different communities for better awareness on the activities and functions of the Information Action Centre initiative. Community outreach was conducted in fifteen (15) Communities located at Uvwie, Ughelli North and Ethiope East LGAs with the purpose of creation of awareness on the projects and stimulating the people to participate actively in social accountability and give voice to the people. The people were told that the time for Accountability, Good Governance, Democracy and Community participation is now where they can demand services from the Government and report abandoned projects or poorly executed projects in their community without fear of victimization. Equally, communication (IEC) materials and newsletters were distributed during the conduct of the Community Outreach for better understanding of the Information Action Centre initiative.
In Uvwie Centre, community awareness was conducted in Ugbolokposu, Ugbomro, Ekpan, and Ugborikoko Communities respectively. The meetings aimed at giving voice to community people and increase their participation in the activities of the State. Unfortunately, only few Elders and the Community Chairman were present but in Ugbomro, Ekpan, andUgborikoko communities, the attendance was impressive as women and youths were fully represented. The Centre Manager spoke elaborately, on the functions of the Information Action Centre. The Community members were made to understand that the project was all about “participatory engagement in order to track budget implementation and performance” and to build trust between the people at the community level and the state government. The Centre Manager went further to inform the communities that her office at the Council Secretariat is accessible and equipped to receive complaintsfrom community members and urged them to call the toll free telephone line to lay complains on any abandoned, poorly executed projects in their locality and voice their opinion on suchprojects.
Awareness Fliers were distributed to persons present and to others in the community. Communities in Uvwie Centre responded by asking questions and agreeing to contact the office and utilize the toll free line in giving information concerning projects in their community.
In Ethiope East Centre, community awareness was conducted in Eku and Orhoakpo community. During the meeting with both communities, the manager of Ethiope East Centre explained the importance of citizen participation in budgetary process. She equally stated the objective of the Information Action Centre as increasing citizen voice in governance, promotion of public accountability and participation in budgetary process of the State. She equally explained to both communities that her office in the Council Secretariat tagged “UNDP office” is fully equipped to receive information from community people in respect of poorly executed or abandoned projects. Eku community responded favorably by listing the projects in the community and stated that out of the 16 projects, only two (2) are completed, five (5) are in progress while the remaining are not in existences while in Orhoakpo community two(2) are completed, one (1) is in progress and the remaining three are not executed. The communities expressed dissatisfaction with the manner the projects are executed and tasked the IAC office to assist and ensure that these projects are completed.
In Ughelli North LGA, Community Awareness was conducted in Afesiere and OtorIwhreko. Also the IAC manager spoke to the Communities on the functions and activities of the Information Action Centre initiatives.
ADVOCACY ENGAGEMENT IN LGAs
On the Advocacy engagement, Chairmen of various LGAs were engaged during the advocacy visits. The advocacy engagement of the Local Government leader’s fast- tracked the release of the LGA Budgets to the Centre Managers.
In order to effectively monitor performance of budget at the staff and local level, the state and LGA budgets were demanded from the respective ministries and local Governments. Delta state Government released two (2) copies each for 2012/2013 budget for the three (3) IACs alsoEthiope East and Uvwie LGAs released their 2012 budget to the IACs Located in their council Secretariats. However,Ughelli North LGA has not released their budget as at the time of this report.
From the State and LGA Budgets, the IACs were able to monitor the extent of the project performance and most of the projects monitored are Road constructions, Schools, Streetlights, hospitals and drainage rehabilitations and constructions. Summary of the projects monitoring shows that of about forty eight (48) projects verified, only 20% of the projects reached 90% completion and only about 10% reached completion. This is an indication that most of these awarded projects are abandoned.
IAC PROJECT TEAM
Ebruke Onajite Esike is the Executive Director of Global Peace Development and doubles as the Project Director for the Information Action Centres. He holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Peace and Justice from University of San Diego, San Diego, California, USA. He is a development expert with over 17 years of experience in development programming and development.
Felicia Macaulay is the Ethiope East Local Government Area Information Action Centre Manager. She holds HND Accounting from MoshoodAbiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State. She was a secondary school Accounts Teacher for 2 years before joining Global Peace Development in 2013.
Mabel Onoberhie is the Ughelli North Information Action Centre Manager. She holds B.SC Microbiology from Delta State University, Abraka. She has over 3 Years’ experience in Community Development and Governance.
Idono Obaromine Peter is theUvwie Information Action Centre Manager. He holds a Master’s Degree in Labour Relations and B.sc Business Administration. Heworked in the banking sector and micro finance investment sector for several years before joining the Information Action Centre Team
Maureen Odimegwu: Is a talented desk Officer charged with the duty of monitoring and evaluating activities of the above listed field Officers. She is also responsible for the coalition and dissemination of all field contact persons report for editing and then subsequent submission to donor organisation . She holds a Bsc. in Bussiness Administration.
My people of Delta State, Na better story we deynackuna so oooo
You know say you fit ask anything from Government?
You fit ask Government to render Account?
Yes o my people.
You fit even report all those Projects for your area when dem abandon
And the onesweythem no do well.
Just wakajejeto the Information Action Centre when near you go make your report.
For further information, call these numbers;
Ughelli North 08161833819
Ethiope East 08166138819
For more information, contact
Global Peace Development,
128 isoko road,