By Naomi Sharang
Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has pledged continuous support for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigenes to ensure that Community Development Agreements (CDAs) with mining companies are respected.
The Executive Director of CTA, Ms Faith Nwadishi, made the pledge during a Media Roundtable in Abuja on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the roundtable is part of events to herald the wrapping up of the two-year project.
The project was titled: “Promotion of the Cultural Values and Environmental Rights of the Original Inhabitants (OIs) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through Drama and Art Forms.”
Nwadishi represented by Programme and Communication Manager of CTA, Mr MacDonald Ekemezie, said the initiative was aimed at amplifying the voices of the OIs to preserve their culture and promote their environmental rights.
The executive director said that the group would continue to strengthen the capacities of community representatives on CDAs.
“We shall seek additional funding to expand the project’s scope to other area councils in the FCT and also maintain ongoing engagement with relevant stakeholders,” she said.
Nwadishi said that CTA provides training to selected community members and cultural ambassadors on how to negotiate and understand CDAs.
“During one review, it was revealed that a community leader had signed a CDA for personal gain, not for the community’s benefit.
“This discovery prompted CTA to empower communities with knowledge about their rights when negotiating and enforcing CDAs,” she said.
Also, Mr Jacob Sananu, an indigene of FCT, expressed gratitude to CTA for the projects implemented, saying they impact on the lives of the FCT residents.
“We appreciate the efforts of CTA at amplifying our voices. They have been practical, they have impacted our lives especially on CDAs. We now understand the difference between our rights and privileges,” she said.
NAN also reports that the programme was funded by the McArthur Foundation through the Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED). (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chidinma Agu/Julius Toba-Jegede