The African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage) has charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to champion issues relating to the socio-economic development of the country.
Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, the Executive Director of Afri-Heritage, an analytical and research-based socio-economic and political institution, made the call on Wednesday in Enugu during a CSOs/NGOs Engagement Forum.
The theme of the forum was “Collaborating for Greater Impact’’.
Okeke-Uzodike stressed the need for various CSOs and NGOs in the country to come together and network to resolve permanently at least one socio-economic challenge confronting of Nigerians.
He said that CSOs and NGOs in the country were not playing their parts effectively unlike their colleagues in other countries that contributed to the progress of their nations.
“Change will not happen because we just wish it; it must be worked out and people aggregated together to jointly contribute to the change.
“Most times, you see individual CSOs or NGOs doing something in a particular socio-economic field but these efforts are just like a drop in the ocean.
“But, if we can have a wide range of CSOs and NGOs in the country or any particular region tackling a single socio-economic issue or problem collectively, I sincerely believe that it will not be long the challenge will be solved comprehensively.’’
The executive director noted that CSOs/NGOs must realise that the success or failure of the government and country depended on them.
“The CSOs and NGOs must drive the dreams of millions of Nigerians since they are more close to the people than even the government.
“Most times, the CSOs and NGOs are first responders to the people when they have challenges or negative emergency developments.’’
Okeke-Uzodike also urged the CSOs and NGOs to support institutions set up to deliver particular aspects of governance to the people.
“These organisations must take the responsibility of making strong advocacy and monitoring institutions, to ensure they deliver on their mandates according to Acts establishing them.
“Through this, CSOs and NGOs roles will impact positively on the institution, which will, in turn, bring about good governance for the common good of all,’’ he said.
The NIGERIA NEWS reports that representatives of over 40 CSOs and NGOs across the country attended the ongoing CSOs/NGOs Engagement Forum hosted by Afri-Heritage yearly.