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Group facilitates production of citizens’ charter demands in Bayelsa community – From Kingsley Okorie/Yenagoa

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Tax Justice and Good Governance Platform, (TJGP) Bayelsa chapter on Thursday urged communities in Bayelsa, to generate a charter of demands to effectively engage government, politicians and development agencies.

Speaking during a town hall meeting with chiefs, men, women, youths and People With Disabilities, (PWDs) in Agbura community, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa, the Coordinator of TJGP, Ms Elizabeth Egbe, described the citizens charter of demands as an important document detailing the community’s areas of need.

Egbe, said the NGO with support from its partners is poised to educate communities and carry out sensitization  as well as advocacy on ongoing projects and programme of the federal, state and development agencies.

She urged the communities to take advantage of such programmes for the benefit of the people.

Egbe, emphasised that the charter of demands will make politicians, government and other development institutions to be aware of the developmental challenges confronting the community.

She added that when the document is finally validated it will be a working document for onward presentation to the representative of the people for action.

The Coordinator pointed out that the charter of demands will enable the government to know the areas to intervene when developing the state budget, maintaining that the document also serve for planning and prudent as well as targeted spending on projects to be executed.

“We are here at Agbura community to facilitate the production of citizens’ charter of demands for the community.

“We have earlier come for the community entry so today we are meeting with the traditional rulers and council of chiefs, youth group, men, women and PWDs and the community waited for us because of the importance they attach to the document.

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“They appreciated our coming to the community and pleaded with us to help develop this document so that they can use to engage their representatives and have constructive engagement with government, development agencies in order to attract development through the budget.

“We also use the opportunity to share information on what the government is doing in terms of the health insurance of the Bayelsa State Government.

“The Federal Government interventions and other World Bank projects with the Bayelsa State Government and so many other projects that the community did not know that were already in existence.

“We are so excited because at end of the day, we are coming back here to validate the charter of demands that was facilitated today so once it is validated and signed it will be presented to the community officially and then we would accompany the community to present it to their representatives.

“We believed that by this time next year things would have changed in the community because there would be engagement between the community and government and other intervention agencies which will be a win win situation for government and the people,” she said.

The Paramount Ruler of Agbura community, King Bitychus Duafa, lamented the absence of drugs at the community health centre, as he noted that a situation where a treatment of an ailment like malaria the people are made to pay as high as N6,000 is unacceptable.

Duafa, while calling for the upgrade and provision of drugs at subsidised rate to enable the people access health care at affordable rate, appreciated the organises of the town hall meeting as this has open their eyes on how to engage government, politicians and development agencies in attracting projects.

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The Agbura community woman leader, Chief (Mrs) Love Theophilus, said that whenever there is a challenge the community can approach the NGO in order to channel their needs to the appropriate quarters for action.

The generated citizens charter of demands consist of nine thematic areas of health, education, security, economic and poverty alleviation, provision of portable drinking water, employment, climate change, agriculture and housing and urban planning. 




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