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NGO rates Umahi high on accountability, transparency in governance

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By DAVID UKA, Abakaliki

GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi state has been ranked among the most transparent and accountable state chief executives in the country.
This is the verdict of a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Citizen Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps, CACVC, after a nationwide survey.
The plank of the anti-corruption group’s assessment was the level of transparency and accountability displayed by the 36 state governors and Governor Umahi was among the top four in the country.
Other state chief executives whose administration passed the accountability and transparency litmus test especially of the management of public funds as the Ebonyi state governor are those of Rivers, Kaduna and Lagos states.
According to the group, in arriving at this conclusion, respondents who were residents of the 36 states of the federation, were interviewed and ad returned a verdict that the four governors including Governor Umahi, had so far managed their state resources with transparency and accountability.
The NGO’s Commandant-General , Comrade Harris Chuma, announced the result at a news conference to mark the United Nations-approved International World Corruption Day in Lagos recently.
Chuma said, “This scorecard evaluates the transparency and accountability of the state governments in Nigeria. It provides an assessment of their performance on a selection of key anti-corruption indices in the course of governance.
“The scorecard is generally based on research and on-going monitoring of developments in Nigeria. This assessment is carried out annually; and it is used as a veritable tool to evaluate governments’ track records and commitment to accountability and integrity in public see.
“The ability to hold government to account for the use of public funds is a crucial aspect of the fight against corruption. By providing an independent assessment of the government’s approach to transparency, integrity and anti-corruption measures, CACVC scorecard helps to hold public office holders and governments accountable to those they serve.”
He explained that the states were scored based on the evidence gathered from interviews and public opinions aggregated, verified and documented.
Ebonyi state, according to him, came second after Rivers, based on the inauguration of the anti-corruption crusade to ensure a corruption-free civil service, prudent management of state resources, and an open government policy which goes beyond information and disclosure.”
Chuma added that “the war against corruption and indiscipline in the state has been intensified with Governor David Umahi’s decision to personally monitor state’s departments, agencies, commissions and parastatals.
The Umahi, administration, he said, “ adopts a zero-level tolerance policy for fraud in government circles.”
Reacting, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, said he was not surprised because the successes of Engr, Umahi had left even his detractors stunned.
Onwe addded.. “The achievements of Governor Umahi in Ebonyi State, under the most challenging economic circumstances confronting the nation in nearly two decades, has left both his friends and foes alike stunned and impressed.
He said: “Governor Umahi is sailing the crest of the wave of towering achievements precisely because he has brought creative imagination to the economic theory of opportunity cost.
“I must say that I am happy that a credible organisation has recognised the genuine efforts of committed leaders in our country without first seeking their personal interest.”

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