By: JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Civil Society Organisations in Let’s Local Government Area of Kaduna State have resolved to develop a budget tracking, monitoring and reporting template to provide independent and unbiased feedback on performance.
This was part of the resolutions adopted at the end of a One-day Dialogue and Strategy Session on Domesticating the Co-creation Principles of the Open Government Partnership, held at the Let’s LGA secretariat on July 29, 2018.
A communique, jointly signed by Convener,
Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED), Yusuf I. Goje, Coordinator, Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Lere LGA, Ladi Makama Bonat and
Shuaibu S. A Garu on behalf of the Chairman,
Lere LGA, made available on Monday July 30, made this known.
“CSOs in Lere local government will develop a budget tracking, monitoring and reporting template to provide independent and unbiased feedback on performance. They have also adopted and will hold another strategy session to domesticate the Federal Tracking and Reporting Template produced by CSOs and the National Assembly with the support of PERL-DFID,” it stated.
The civil society organizations in Lere local government have embraced the governance reforms ongoing in the local government especially with the adoption of the co-creation principles of the OGP by the council; with commitment to expand the civic space for more citizens engagement in the decision-making processes.
Other resolutions adopted include ensuring that the present administration of Hon. Abubakar Buba will work closely with the CSOs to constitute a Technical Working Group (TWG); with government and CSOs representatives peered as co-chair, to ensure that Lere local government adopts and entrench the co-creation principles of the OGP in the governance processes, with focus on commitment one #OGPKaduna.
“The TWG will serve as the committee to organize two citizens-driven budget town-hall meetings before the passage of the 2019 local government budget.
“Aside the budget town-hall meetings and deployment of the citizens’ tracking and reporting template, the council will rotate town-hall meetings across the 11 wards to get direct feedback from the citizens on budget implementation and participatory performance evaluation.
“Both the government and CSOs have agreed to adopt the indicator outcomes of the Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program to measure performance of the council.
“The local government council will establish a CSOs/Development partners liaison desk office to interface, serve as a direct channel for free flow of information, and an entry point for CSOs to engage the council on all issues around governance.
“Participating CSOs will cascade the information gotten in their various communities, to ensure more participation of informed citizens in the governance process. They will also advocate at the grassroots on the need for the adoption, by the demand-side, of collaborative rather than the present confrontational approach, when engaging the supply-side of government in Lere local government area.
“All Councilors in Lere local government area will open social media handles to disseminate information on their activities and to get direct feedback from their constituents.
“CSOs will step up engagements through the social media to engage government’s newly launched official handles in demanding transparency, accountability and responsiveness in Lere LGA,” the communique informed.
It explained that CALPED in collaboration with Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Lere LGA, Network of Citizens in Governance, Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL-DFID) and the Local government council organized the one-day dialogue and strategy session on domesticating the co-creation principles of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Lere LGA at the Conference room of the Local Government Secretariat to bring together under one roof, the demand and supply side of government to further deepen their understanding of the OGP, Local Government Development Plan and Budget Circle at a one day engagement;
According to the communique, other reasons why the engagement was held, include to brainstorm and generate strategies which will culminate into an implementable action-plan for effective citizens participation in the entire budget circle in line with commitment one of #OGPKaduna.
“Advocate and identify entry points for the adoption and institutionalization of the co-creation principles of the OGP across all departments and committees in Lere local government council;
“To support the process towards positioning Lere local government council to take advantage of the Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program for inclusive and sustainable development,” it said.
The session had in attendance the Executive Chairman, Lere local government, Hon. Abubakar Buba; his Vice, Magaji Buba; all the Councilors; Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Shuaibu S. Garu; Heads of Departments; Community Development Officer; Lere LGA Information Officer; and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
Also in attendance were the State Team Leader, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (ECP-PERL), Abel Adejor; Coordinator, Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Lere LGA, Ladi Makama Bonat; Founder, Follow Taxes, Said Tafeeda; Executive Director, Initiative for Collective Voice, Accountability & Progress (ICoVAPAfrica), Laurence M. Obeweh; Project Officer, LeadsNigeria, Daniel A. Micheal; and Project Officer, CALPED, Stephen Waya.
Others include: Traditional Council (Village Head), Muhammad S.A; representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Musa Adamu and Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI), Aliyu Safiyan; Community Champions from all the 11 wards; representatives of Tribal Associations, Persons with DisABILITIES (PWDs); and representatives of women and youth groups in Lere local government area.