Building the Next Generation of Follow the Money Enthusiasts in Nigeria Through the Tertiary Institutions

The follow the Money team was given 20min slot to speak about what we do in two events at the University of Ilorin.

The first event was co-organized by the Canvassity Pan African Youth Democracy and The Post-Graduate School of the Faculty of Life Science Student while the second event which was supposed to hold was organised by Junior Chamber Internation (JCI Unilorin) but, did not later hold due to logistics reason by the organiser (JCI Unilorin)

The theme of the event was “Understanding Democracy: How to Leverage the Power of Technology and Social Media to Engage the Government and Increase Impactful Youth Engagement”.

The event which took place on the 29th of April, 2017 was very strategic for our team as it comes at a time we are planning to reach out to all the geopolitical zones in Nigeria by training them on how to Follow the Money. 

As such, starting from Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria will be instrumental to our work as we intend to reach out to the consciousness of the youth population in the academic community. Engaging this category of youths will drive intellectual change and conversation around development, governance and Transparency & Accountability.

Though the turnout for the event wasn’t as massive as we had earlier thought, but nonetheless – the message got to, and sank deep into the hearts of the participants as they all wanted to leverage on the Follow the Money Platform to empower their respective communities.

“Where have you guys been all this while?” That statement was echoed by the majority of the participants as they were all wowed about what we have been doing.

Akinsuyi who was one of the participants gave his remarks saying “An eye-opening presentation, but I think it is not for someone who wants to live long”.

In his remarks to feedbacks given by Akinsuyi, Busayo Morakinyo of Connected Development engaged him emphasising on the fact that “we cannot all be mute and watch things go by as we all need to be proactive and ask the right questions from the government, so we can all see and achieve the Nigeria of our dreams”

One of the participants who did not want his name in print raised a salient concern as he asked if  Follow the Money would not turn apolitical by the time it gain grounds and I discussed extensively on the nonpartisan traits of the organization and gave him assurance about the fact that we remained firm and resolute on our nonpartisan stand. Also, I was able to let him realised we cannot be a watchdog for the government and at the same time be romancing with them.

While explaining the more, I iterated and let the participant understand that if the organisation was a political one or has a political motive/s, it would not have stood the test of time since 2012 that it was founded. 

The event ended with a good understanding of what we do and how the participants can sign up to be a part of the organisation. More of this training will continue until we are able to reach out to all Tertiary institutions in Nigeria, creating systems and deep-rooted thoughts on transparency and accountability. The event ended with commitments from the participants as they indicated their interest to join our Follow the Money Platform. 

If truly we are serious about Following the Money, then, we should be able to train the next generation of leaders to be proactive and always speak up and most importantly, they too need to start Following the Money.  This is one of the major reasons why we are on the train of training to the tertiary institutions. Look out for our train in the various campuses around Nigeria. We will keep you posted the more, as it is happening.

If you know of any event on social development, transparency and accountability which you would want us to talk about what we do and possible recruitment of Follow the Money enthusiasts, do not hesitate to comment or reach out to our team.