By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In line with the Open Governance Platform (OGP), the Kaduna State Government is giving room for community input in its budgetary process, through the Community Development Charter (CDC).
Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission, Kaduna State, Alhaji Bashir Muhammad expressed this, while speaking to our correspondent after the close of the 17th Economic Board Planning (EPB) Meeting on Wednesday night, August 31, 2022 at his office.
“The CDC gives opportunity to voiceless to contribute to their development.
“The CDC has some people that represent the particular ward or community, so that their needs will be reflected in the budget,” he said.
He explained that hence, at the end of the 17th EPB, they resolved that CDC must conform with its principles, where every key stakeholder from each ward and community in the state contribute.
He explained that CDC is an initiative of the government because they are signitories to the OGP.
“The process entails that communities contribute and their aspirations are represented,” he noted.
According to him, issues raised by local council chairmen pertaining grey areas of the CDC will be addressed, to ensure smooth running of the programme.
Muhammad who partly chaired the session after the Commissioner, Hajiya Umma Yusuf Aboki left for another engagement, said that several other economic concerns were discussed with the Kaduna State Government and the 23 LGAs.
“As you can see today, all the LGAs of the state were represented. This is to discuss how LGA projects can reach the grassroots through bottom up approach to governance,” he stressed.
Earlier in his presentation, Auditor General Local Government Kaduna State, Atiku Musa, elaborately harped on the need for timely is on preparation of financial statement by LGAs.
“The law says such financial statement should be submitted on or before 30th March of upcoming year,” he said.
He also canvassed for migration from cash transactions to mobile.
In a presentation on Charters for citizen participation in governance, an expert, Yusuf Goje harped on the importance of honouring Community Development Charter (CDC).
He said that the citizens in remote areas don’t need to go to their LGA headquarters, but can channel it through a platform that will mobilize more citizens to participate in governance for inclusive development in Kaduna State.
Later in an interview, Yusuf Goje said the CDC is one that the needs of the people determines the budget.
“It is geared to ensure that we have more citizens involved in informing the annual budget. The CDC is helping the people voice out. To ensure the process is easy, we have created a platform, citizensdemand.org, where needs are uploaded from citizens, if they have questions, the information of community signatories are there,” he stressed.
In an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the meeting, Kagarko LGA Chairman, Nasara Rabo said that CDC Champions are doing well, however, those CDC Champions from opposition parties will not support the ruling party in terms of projects, leading to friction.
He suggested that CDC should focus on following projects and have more results, bringing about better development.
He advised the CDC Champions to collaborate with all critical stakeholders to present community needs, so it won’t be like an individual request.
“That is why some chairmen would like to relate more with community leaders,” he submitted.
Administrator Kafanchan Metropolitan Authority, Phoebe Sukai Yayi in an interview, said that the EPB is targeted at creating avenue where LGA chairmen meet, share ideas and move together as a team.
On recent developments in her metropolitan council, she explained that reasons for insistence on obtaining license for liquor sellers is to ensure that only legal items are sold at designated points.
“And it is to regulate those selling to ensure they sell the right drinks and also to generate revenue,” she said.