Group photo of participants at a-2 day training on budget monitoring and tracking organised by Clement Isong Foundation in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria.

By Reporter

Clement Isong Foundation in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria has trained youths in Akwa Ibom state on the rudiments and essential skills for budget monitoring and tracking.

The two-day intensive training held recently in Uyo had more than 50 youths in attendance.

The capacity building workshop is one of the milestones by Clement Isong Foundation in empowering young persons with the tools and knowledge necessary to actively participate in shaping government budgets and ultimately leading to improved public service delivery and community development.

The Director, Clement Isong Foundation, Mr Elkanah Oluyori, said citizens’ understanding of budget and participation in budgeting were essential in ensuring fiscal accountability and transparency in governance, emphasising the need for youths to take part in the budget processes to enhance socio-economic development of their communities.

Clement Isong Foundation, ActionAid Nigeria train youths on budget tracking Prof Akpan Ekpo, Chairman, BoT, Clement Isong Foundation with facilitators of at the training.

Speaking, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Clement Isong Foundation, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, tasked participants at the training to rise up and save their generation by making themselves critical participants in governance and community development.

A release by the media office of Clement Isong Foundation quoted Ekpo to have said that, ‘in every generation, there will be young people who will betray the generation, will rise to save the generation.’

Prof. Ekpo charged the youths to rise and take their rightful place as saviours of the nation.

In their contributions, representatives of ActionAid Nigeria, Blessing Ifemenam and Kure Shekwoyemi, tasked the participants to make good use of the training and follow where their money goes.

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Some of the topics discussed at the training were, “Understanding budget monitoring and tracking (processes and tools)”, “Complexities and barriers against effective budget tracking, solutions to barriers”, “Understanding effective ways of engaging government and stakeholders and importance of community structures and influencers in budget monitoring and tracking”, and “Roles of CSOs and other stakeheolders in engaging the budgetary process.”

Other topics were, “The use of social media as tools for effective advocacy”, “Budget advocacy and strategy”.

Participants at the workshop expressed appreciation to Clement Isong Foundation for the training and signed a contract to implement the knowledge gain by identifying and tracking select youth-focused projects in their local government areas.

Meanwhile, Clement Isong Foundation said it will work with ActionAid Nigeria to provide continuous support and mentorship to the participants to ensure that they fully imbibe the lessons learnt and put them into practice.