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The Executive Officer, Connected Development, Hamzat Lawal, on Tuesday urged Nigerian students and youths to exert their energy on taking ownership of government projects in their neighbourhood and expose any corruption in the execution.

Lawal harped on the need for citizens, especially youths to track government budgets and ensure the full implementation by following the process towards putting an end to misappropriations and other corrupt practices in the country.

The CODE leader, represented by the Head, Democracy and Governance, Njoku Emmanuel, spoke at Federal University, Oye Ekiti, during the mme initiative organized by CODE in conjunction with the McArthur Foundation to raise awareness among students and youth for transparency and accountability by public office holders towards ending corruption.

He said, “The choice of the university environment for the anti-corruption drive was necessitated by the need to encourage youth participation in governance most importantly in the area of government spending across all sectors.

“It also aims to expose students to how best to monitor government projects in their communities and report to appropriate authorities for effective service delivery.

“You will hear of many projects in Abuja that have been awarded as constituency projects, and mostly these projects are not executed or [they are] abandoned. So, when people are aware of these projects, they will be able to ask relevant questions.

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“We believe these students are representing constituencies in this state and beyond. They can be champions of accountability and transparency in government projects and spending. What we are doing now is to recruit more activists and advocates for a better society.”

The organisation expressed optimism that political leaders would be responsible and take citizens serious, “when they notice that people at the grassroots especially our youths are aware of their rights and ready to follow it up.”

Accordingly, it stated that such would, in no small measure, bring about the needed socio-economic changes in the country.

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