How Stakeholders develop tools for tracking LFTAS in Kaduna
By Gadani Joy, Kaduna
Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) in collaboration with Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KADLGAM) has organized a two-day technical session to develop advocacy tracking tools for the Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (LFTAS) Programme in Kaduna State.
The two-day activity held in Zaria, Kaduna State North West Nigeria had participants from selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state to strengthen their understanding of the LFTAS programme and to develop strategies to ensure the sustainability and continuity of government programmes and activities as it concerns the objectives of LFTAS.
Mr Yusuf Goje, the Chairperson of KADLGAM, in a remark stated that the meeting was a proactive action against the problem of “policy summersault” and ensuring that existing government programmes and service deliveries at the 23 LGAs of the Kaduna State are sustained and improved where necessary.
Goje noted that because the Local Government is closest to the people, citizens’ concerns are best addressed by government at the LGA level. “It is important for key government reforms to begin at the grassroots, the foundation of our society is linked to the local government” he said, hence, their policies and programmes have a direct impact on the lives of the people.
Also speaking on the successes of the reforms, Mr Abel Adejor, the State Lead, said PERL has since 2017 facilitated the training of Community Development Champions, CDCs who are currently working with the CDC focal person at the Planning and Budget Commission of Kaduna to upload the community needs through the citizens demand platform.
As a result, citizens’ needs are transmitted from the Local Government Area to the Planning and Budget Commission, which has influenced the budget of the LGAs by about 50%”.
He further noted that the average implementation of Community Development Charter stands at about 35-48%, and for a development partner, that is a huge success for them.
The Acting Director Planning, Kaduna State Ministry of Local Government, Mallam Mohammed Adamu, highlighted how the local government reform has benefited both government and citizens at the grassroots.
He said as a result of the reform, citizens are able to participate in the governance of local council; through the Community Development Charter (CDC), citizens can directly share their peculiar needs at the local government level which informs the state budget for each 23 LGAs in the state
He said “the reform helps them monitor, to make sure that what is supposed to be done is actually what is done. It has opened the space for them to have a say in the way things are done in government”.
Mallam Adamu said due to the co-creation platform of the Open Government Partnership (OGp) the budget performance tracking in Kaduna State is done by the government and the citizens, represented by members of CSOs, so they are aware of what government is doing. “Gone are the days when things were hidden, now everything is open, as a result of the signing of the OGP, it has made governance more open and accountable to the people”.
The co-creation story of Kaduna and successes recorded as a result of commitment of Civil Society Organizations, Government, Community Development Champions and the development partners like PERL who have demonstrated commitment to sustainable development in the state.
ABOUT THE LFTAS PROGRAMME
The Kaduna State Government (KDSG) introduced the Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (LFTAS) programme, as part of ongoing reforms to strengthen service delivery at the local government level.
The Kaduna State Local Government Reform Law 2017 mandated the Local Government Areas (LGAs) to develop a culture of participatory governance by encouraging community members to participate in the preparation, implementation, and review of the development plans.
These structural reforms are intended to improve transparency and build local government capacity for effective service delivery, promote development at the grassroots and ensure policy alignment with state and Federal Government policies.
Since its introduction in 2018, LFTAS has focused on specific Local Government reform areas (Budget Preparation Process, Adherence to Policy Documents, Strengthen Internally Revenue Generation (IGR), Improved Public Procurement system and Reduced payroll fraud using biometric – enshrined as Disbursement Linked Indicators), which are consistent with state reform initiatives.
At the end of each year, the local government areas are assessed based on these reform areas and rewarded based on their performance. Each Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI) attracts a certain amount of money, with LGAs that meet all the requirements for each DLI accessing a maximum of N20 million.
These incentives were put in place to promote development at the grassroots by creating an autonomous, adequately funded, transparent and responsible local government system capable of delivering quality service to the people. KADLGAM have tracked the implementation of LFTAS grants at the LGA level and Chairmen equally invited citizens to nominate projects to be implemented.