By Mary Jalingo.
Niger Stare Government has inaugurated a 22 man Technical Working Group (TWG) on Ward Development Committee and citizen led accountability to provide a road map for citizen led accountability activities and programmes in the state.
Executive Director of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Dr Yahaya Nau’zo, who inaugurated the TWG, said citizen led accountability for better health promotes community ownership of health projects and ensures that information from community members were used to improved service delivery and made informed policies.
He said evidence has shown that citizen led accountability mechanism can contribute to improved governance, increase development effectiveness through better service delivery and ensured sustainability of development projects.
He congratulated members of the TWG and urged them to work tirelessly in ensuring that primary health care system in the state was revived and strengthened.
Speaking on behalf of the TWG members, Alhaji Abdullahi Usman (Galadima Kagara) said health as a right must be given adequate priority as the well-being of citizens was the bedrock of development.
Alhaji Usman said citizen led accountability which enable citizen to hold their leaders accountable for their performance, commitment was the best apparatus to bring about rapid development especially in the health sector, which he described as a major necessity.
He commended the state government for its effort in trying to revamp the health sector, adding that the out of pocket expenses of citizen in accessing quality health care services was making life very difficult for citizen and urged government to ensure more funds are allocated to the sector to implement projects.
The TWG members whom were drawn from the health sector, traditional, religious leaders, Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and partners were given a Term of Reference (ToR) to make recommendation that provide
for facilitation of input by citizens into decision making at the primary health care level and propose ways of addressing barriers to citizen participation among others.