Mobilising CSOs, Media, Government on Accountability, Good Governance

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Ibrahim Shuaibu reports that the recent workshop
by Kano State Led Accountability Mechanism, for CSOs, media and government officials in Kaduna State was on capacity building, accountability, budget advocacy and resource mobilisation

It is part of good governance to formulate and implement budgets as a means of achieving developmental progress in a state. But such budgets have to be in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the people.

While some communities need healthcare delivery services, others need education, housing and road infrastructure. More so, the government might also be in need of implementing some agenda that will not only generate income for the state but also provide access to jobs for individuals.

Hence, areas like agriculture, mining and general industrial development would require part of the budget. Therefore, budgets are classified into recurrent and capital expenditure to allow for l greater implementation of these desires.

In line with this, the Kano State Led Accountability Mechanism (KanSLAM), recently organised a workshop for CSOs, media practitioners and government officials to take responsibility in sourcing for the yearnings and aspirations of the people to be placed in the budget but also following up and tracking the budget to see to its practical implementation.

KanSLAM in collaboration with the DFID, which organised the training in Kaduna, brought together experts, who spoke from various dimensions to expose the participants to the techniques of budget tracking as well as implementation of the needs of the people in the budget.

The capacity building workshop was on Political Economy, Analysis and Human Capital Development and is meant to see that participants at the end of the workshop will be able to extend the same knowledge to their colleagues and also implement it in their various fields of endeavour for the benefit and progress of the society.

Experts like Dr Bala Magaji, a consultant to the Lafiya program of the DFID, while presenting his paper on how political institutions, political environment as well as the economic systems influence each other, said: “PEA focuses on the socio- political and economic environment, its challenges and issues which exists, in order to have an utmost understanding of the issues politicians, government and all parties face.

“PEA is asking the question Why? What is happening? Who is in charge? Who do I engage? How do I engage? What is feasible? Who will be affected? Once these can be obtained, a better understanding of the dynamics between politics, economics, social factors and how they work, will be used to face reality”.

In her paper, Umma Rakana, the Accountability and Advocacy Coordinator for the Lafiya project, shed light on how they have been engaging with the state on issues of information findings for research as a source of development.

“We have been engaging with the state because we believe that information and findings from research influences implementation of what we hope to achieve. We are looking at the key indices of under five mortalities, HCD in the context of adult mortality, Labour capital and many others.

“We have been able to gather enough findings to support the Kano State government to set up its HCD priority around Human Capital Development as we have done a lot of engagements with other partners. We have been working with the state Ministry of Budget and Planning, health and other ministries so as to come up with key priorities.”

She further stated that a memo had been sent to the office of the Kano Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje with the hope that upon passage of the memo, a HCD champion will be identified.

KanSLAM which pursues a common goal at the state and federal levels serves as a strong voice to influence changes in their areas of work as well as serve as an accountability mechanism in sectors of their interests.

On his part, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, a budget expert, highlighted the importance of identifying key challenges in budget tracking geared towards fine-tuning modalities of curtailing them to achieve the state’s objectives.

The facilitator further enumerated techniques needed to be implored during advocacy geared towards succeeding in the action plan.

Finally, in her remark, the co-chair of KanSLAM, Maimuna Mohammad said members of the coalition are committed in ensuring that they achieve the set objectives.

She applauded the efforts of the DFID lafiya project for organising the capacity building training, saying the experiences gained will be stepped down to other members of KanSLAM.

Earlier, the representative of Kano Emirate Council, the Dankade of Kano State, Dr Bashir Mohammad charged participants at the training to make judicious utilisation of the experience they acquired during the training.

Speaking, while welcoming the participants, the team leader of Lafiya Project Dr Dayyabu Mohammad, commenced their zeal and commitment and admonished them to be focused in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Also, strategies on how to achieve the objectives were mapped out through various groups that were constituted during the training. Then, participants took turns to collaborate in achieving the desired end goal.