By ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Chief Executive Officer, Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, said for Kaduna State to achieve increase and retention of girls in her public schools, there would be need for quality toilets and water points in all new and renovated facilities.
Hamzat, who gave the advice when he paid a courtesy call on the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on Thursday, added that building of toilets should be made compulsory when contract are being awarded to enable the girls have comfort in school.
“Your Excellency Sir, we will like you to make a commitment from the government to ensure that WASH infrastructure is prioritized in every school that receives the annual UBE intervention in the state.” He requested.
He also disclosed that the NGO which is dedicated to tracking government and international spending in Nigeria and Africa has since September 2017 to date tracked project implementation worth N569 million (USD 1.5 million) in Kaduna State.
Hamzat added that the tracking cuts across 23 projects, in 20 Communities, across Jema’a, Kudan, Kajuru and Zango Kataf Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State.
According to him, the high quality tracking of Universal Basic Education (UBE) spending in 70 schools in the state is the implementation of the 3 year MacArthur Foundation, supported project.
He explained to the Governor that the recent United Nations Mobiliser award won by his organization this year was mainly as a result of the success stories they recorded in Kaduna state, adding that the government partnership with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) is paying off.
He therefore thank the governor for signing on to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which he said has created opportunity to CSOs and citizens to be part of governance in the state.
While calling on the Governor for more cooperation, Hamzat, said the organization had “conducted Needs Assessment across 600 schools in the 4 LGAS for evidence based UBE action planning in the state.
“We have worked with SUBEB and strengthened the capacity of SBMCS to be effective drivers of change through providing effective oversight on school projects’ implementation and informing school projects’ selection on the state’s annual UBE action plan.
“Enhanced citizens’ engagenent in basic education spending in the state through Follow The Money Radio Kaduna and town hall meetings. As well as provided trainings for Kad-SUBEB personnel on Data Gathering, Analysis and Dissemination, as well as on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) which enhanced their capacity in the aforementioned areas for work efficiency.
“Beneficiaries in the course of project implementation included over 80 SBMC and PTA member and SUBEB/LGEA officials who were directly trained; over 200 community stakeholders who were indirectly trained through step-down trainings; as well as a population estimate of 200,000 we reached in communities where the projects were implemented.
“Ultimately, the beneficiaries include pupils and teachers from the selected schools as our activities led to service delivery across 70% of the projectsthrough enhanced public oversight.”
In her response, the Governor who was represented by the Ag Governor Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, said the government from inception made a social contract with her citizens to provide them with quality infrastructures and that they shall continue on that path.
She said the Kaduna State Government feels very proud having organization with young people like that of CODE achieving a lot not just Kaduna but worldwide, adding “we are ever ready as a government to partner with any organization working for development.
“Having organization like yours working with us is a boost. One of the things we want to do is to learn to tell our stories, we are tired of competing with other states in the North West.
Dr Balarabe, however, called on CSOs in the state not to only be telling the government what she has done rightly, but also to be telling them about what they are not doing so they can learn and become better.
The CODE’s team had earlier in the day paid a courtesy call on the new management of the Kaduna State Basic Education Board (KAD-SUBEB) to seek for a renewed commitment and collaboration.
Hamzat, told the management of the NGO’s plans to train their staff on data collection, data analysis and data management and further strengthen the relationship that exist between them.