Citizens Engagement: Kaduna Stakeholders Develop Strategic Plan
By Gadani Joy, Kaduna
Stakeholders in Kaduna on Monday , commenced the development of a strategic plan that will foster citizens’ engagement in governance at the grassroots and the sustainability of the Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KADLGAM) in Kaduna State.
The two-day technical session with stakeholders from government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will finalize the document that will enhance the implementation of the community engagement and accountability framework of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
In an opening remark, Mr Abel Adejor, the State Team Lead of Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), stated that the organization has supported the Kaduna State Government to Sign up the five commitment areas of the OGP platform; Open Budget, Open Contracting, Citizens’ Engagement, Strengthening Social Protection and Service Delivery in Health and Education in 2018.
He said PERL, a funded programme of the United Kingdom has since 2016 supported Kaduna State to join the OGP; and has facilitated capacity building of CSOs to engage the government at the state and the LGA level, with an objective of promoting accountability and transparency in governance.
One of their aspirations according to him, is to achieve CSOs and Legislative partnership leading to an open legislation.
“We are working to ensure that the legislature is fully open for citizens to go and engage them in the house of assembly”.
“Because of the intervention of PERL, Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA) was able to open up budget for public hearing”. Adejor said.
According to him, access to Chairpersons of the different committees of the KSHA is now possible for members of the technical working groups of the various accountability mechanism through the organization’s intervention.
Speaking on the objectives of the event, Mr Yusuf Goje, the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KADLGAM) said the process of developing the strategic action plan started last year, with an overall goal to advance social accountability and identify sustainable framework for KADLGAM.
He noted that the activities of KADLGAM is about transparency, accountability, and responsiveness, and existing laws like the Local Government reform law has mandated citizens to participate in the entire budget processes at the Local government level, which informs the state government fiscal activities.
“By virtue of the law, participating in the budget process for citizens is a right” he said.
The technical session is a follow-up and validation of the Strategic Plan which was developed earlier by the Community Development Charter (CDC) Champions drawn from the 23 LGAs.