By Mary Jalingo

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Executive Director, Niger State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NSPHCDA) Dr. Yahaya  Nau’zo has said that the state government would explore all the components of Citizens-Led Accountability (CLA)  to maximize results especially in the health sector.
Dr.  Yahaya Nau’zo stated this during a two day workshop on Citizens-Led Accountability (CLA) on Maternal and Newborn Child Health (MNCH)  for civil Society Organizations organised by White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN) in collaboration with NSPHCDA held recently at Dongo Koli Hotels,  Minna. 
He said the state was working hard to institutionalized the Ward Health Development Committee (WHDC) across the state adding that as the closest components that allows citizens participate fully in government activities as it affects them, the agency would ensure that WHDC are activated where there are not to enable them perform their responsibilities as expected.
He said the present administration of Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello, was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that citizens get the best of healthcare services at an affordable rate noting that the state can only move forward if the citizens are healthy.  
Speaking earlier,  Ms. Tariah Adams, Communication and Advocacy Officer,  WRAN said when citizens are part of planning,  implementation and monitoring of Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities,  the benefits was that communities would take ownership of PHC projects which she noted would improve the feedback system. 
Ms. Tariah Adams said the state government has invested so much in MNCH but lack of improved CLA system especially at the community level means that government may simply not understand what happen at the communities and may not be able to meet their needs.  
She said WRAN is working on a project in the state known as CLA for MNCH adding that the project was basically to advocate for the institutionalization of CLA in the operation of PHC in the state. 
 She said the essence of the workshop was to expand the scope of CSOs beyond WRAN reach adding that WHDC as an accountability platform was very important to improve the outcome of MNCH in the state as they would be able to track government investment and give feed back for an improved performance.  
Also speaking,  the Senior Programme Officer, WRAN, Ms. OreOluwa Ojo,  said they are committed to supporting the state government in improving CLA by strengthening feedback mechanisms between the citizens and the government. 
Ms. OreOluwa Ojo said citizen led accountability was crucial to providing  the dividends of democracy and that was why they were partnering with relevant stakeholders to advance the right of women to safe and healthy reproductive life.