Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
In order to ensure the rapid development of rural areas in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and some Civil Societies Organisations have declared their readiness to partner with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in interventions aimed at improving living standards of residents.
Our correspondent reports that the groups made this known during a roundtable discussion with AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, in the Council’s Secretariat in Area 10, on Tuesday.
Addressing stakeholders, an official of UNESCO, Steven Onyekwere, who is also the National Program Officer on Revitalising Adult and Youth Literacy Education in Nigeria of the agency, said the doors of UNESCO are always open to the council.
Mr. Onyekwere said the international organisation is willing to assist the council with technical support in its area of competencies; which are education, social and human sciences, culture and communication and information.
According to him, “If the council comes up with a proposal that is relevant to the organisation’s mandate, UNESCO will give its technical expertise and support because we have global network.”
“Our doors are open to the area council on our area of competencies which are in education, social and human sciences, culture and communication and information as long as those projects are within the mandate of UNESCO we are ready to give our technical support.”
In the same vein, the Program Officer, Civil Society Legialative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Muhammad Murtala said the group will sensitise residents on the need to promptly pay their tax as well as demand accountability from the government.
He stressed that the residents needed to pay while the government also needed to provide social amenities with the revenues as such they should
“If the government is more responsive in providing amenities, people will be more willing to pay taxes. We can sensitise people in the formal sector to pay their taxes so that government can provide amenities,” he explained.
In his remarks, AMAC Chairman, who received the delegation, particularly urged the CSOs to preach unity, as the area council must not be seen as an indigenous council rather a council for all Nigerians.
Candido said: “See this area council as yours then you can give it needed support. The approach is to see the council as a more united council.”
While commending the CSOs for the assurance, he said he looked forward to having a richer engagement with them in the nearest future.