A team of Civil Society activists has commended the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), over his initiative to involve the Civil Society Organization (CSO), in nation building through Town Hall meetings where the activities of government are explained to the populace.
Comrade Razaq Olokoba, who led the team to the Town Hall meeting along Lagos-Ibadan expressway last Saturday, in a chat with our correspondent, said, the initiative is a laudable avenue to sensitise the public on the way the government operates with a view to cementing the required Government/Public Relationship for nation-building.
The team leader, Olokoba, who is also the National Convener of the Campaign for Dignity in Governance (CDG), said, if the initiative is extended to the contractors as well as the natives within, around and along with the government projects, the frictions that always arise between the natives and the contactors would be reduced to the barest minimum.
The youthful activist believes that, with smooth relationship among all the stakeholders in nation-building, the usual delay in projects delivery would be the things of the past or at least, reduced to a manageable level.
“Townhall meeting of this nature initiated by Fashola would provide an avenue for the government to explain reasons for tampering with properties like structures and farmlands and the benefits the projects would bring to the communities affected. It would also be an avenue to explain why compensation may be late but not denied and thus douse tension, agitations and anxiety of the property owners,” Olokoba reasoned.
Such first-hand information, according to him, would go a long way to facilitate smooth operation of the government because the natives affected by the projects sites would understand and cooperate with it, adding that, the slow pace of developmental projects would be eliminated to a reasonable extent.
The vocal pro-democracy crusader, therefore, urged government contractors to follow the footsteps of the Minister to foster cordial relationship between them and those to be called their sites’ neighbours so that unnecessary frictions that always characterise their relationship would be smoothened out amicably.
Concluding, Olokoba, who emphasised the need for unhindered information flow that bridges the avoidable communication gab, pointed out that, the importance of communication in an organised society can never be overemphasized, believing that, Fashola’s town hall meeting initiative is a viable avenue to bridge the communication gap in any establishment.