Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) organized a 2-day Capacity Building Workshop for Media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Strengthening Accountability in the Maternal Health Delivery Chain across Nigeria.
The event was held on 15th and 16th, December, 2020 at Top Rank Galaxy Hotels, Utako District, FCT Abuja.
The CHRICED project of Promotion of Democratic Participation in Nigeria with a focus on Accountability in the Implementation of Resource Budgets for Maternal Health Interventions is all about advancing the democratisation of political processes in Kano State and by extension the rest of Nigeria.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director, CHRICED, Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi said: “An important aspect of the intervention is to track the efficiency and effectiveness of maternal health spending. This is to ensure the big-budget figures being devoted to healthcare impact on the lives of women and children across the country.”
Although, the project is principally focused on Kano, maternal health is something that affects everyone, he added.
“We were all once nestled in the wombs of our mothers for around nine months before we finally arrived in this world. We also believe the impact of the work we are doing in Nigeria’s most populous state will resonate better if we have allies in the media from all over the country; this has informed the decision to bring this capacity workshop to Abuja,” he stressed.
As a knowledge-driven platform of active citizens working for the promotion of human rights, rule of law, democracy, and accountability, CHRICED envisions a democratic Nigeria where participation, inclusion, and transparency are guaranteed and state and non-state actors actively collaborate towards accountable and responsive use of resources for the collective well-being of citizens, he explained.
He said the media and CSOs have an important role to play in putting these challenges on the front burner of the public discourse.
For the next two days, this capacity building workshop will provide an opportunity for learning and exchange of ideas on the most innovative ways for the media and CSOs to go about producing and disseminating impact stories on maternal and child health,” he emphasized.
“However, the quest for transparency, accountability, and effective use of public resources is not just required in the area of maternal health. The many challenges our country is facing in other spheres, speak to the need for more openness, more transparency, and accountability.
“As we speak, insecurity continues to ravage all parts of Nigeria. It is so bad that criminals can walk into a school and abduct over 300 children like they are engaging in a walk through the park. At the same time, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) remains on strike, putting in the balance the future of the youth.
“The devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of our citizens to wallow in extreme poverty due to poor management by the government. The downward spiral of our national currency, the free fall of Naira against the Dollar and other international currency has made life unbearable for many in the face of contracting gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
“All these challenges have an accountability dimension to them, and they all have a bearing on maternal health,” he said.
CHRICED cherishes its relationship with the media and is determined to work with the media to deepen accountability, not only in maternal health but also in all the critical spheres of governance.
“However, let me say that beyond this training, the real test of our commitment will be found in what we do with the knowledge we have gained,” he challenged the participants.
“I will therefore urge all our colleagues from the media and from CSOs to set a target of the number of maternal health stories they will produce and disseminate after this training,” he advised.
Adding that CHRICED in line with its mandate will be very willing to support the process. We will always explore innovative, effective, and sustainable ways to support the media to deliver on their mandate. We, therefore, look forward to a fruitful and sustainable collaboration.
Comrade Zikirullahi thanked Misereor/KZE of Germany, for their unwavering support to the cause of ensuring that the concerns, voices, and views of citizens shape the policy discourse on maternal health governance in Nigeria.