by: Femi Mustapha
The Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL) has noted that it is time the electorates, civil society organizations and Media to begin demand participatory budgeting to ensure good governance from those elected in the office.
The Partner State Facilitation Manager
of PERL, Ashiru Sani disclosed this during a two-day Stakeholders reflection and presentation of Community Development Charter(CDC)2021 held in Zaria.
Speaking on the program organised by Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM) and sponsored by PERL, Sani Urged Stakeholders to engage in advocacy, consultation and be actively involved in budget performance and stewardship in their respective Local Government Areas.
According to him, the meeting was to generate advocacy issues to help accelerate the inclusion of the CDC into the state budget process.
He explained that the Community Development Charter or the Community Demand Charter is a written document containing the development needs of a
community listed in order of communal priority as agreed by all groups within the community.
Sani however stressed that the demand must be reasonable and doable, saying, that is why the participatory budget is important.
“There is a need for accountability from those that occupy political offices. This way, the political class will sit up. All I am saying is that that budgeting preparatory should be all-inclusive, where a project is for the people and not just what those in the power at the top “
Presenting an overview of participatory Budgeting, Mr.Yusuf Goje of Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment, and Development (CALPED) said, sovereign belongs to the people, participation of citizens, and the Budget belongs to the people as enshrined in the Constitution.
He, therefore, urged the people to demand for projects relevant to their community, noting that it is time people begin to reap the benefits of democracy, which he listed as tolerance, rule of law, freedom of expression, accountability, and transparency of government office.
It would be recalled that Kaduna State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commence the development of an Open Budgeting system.
The agreement Place a premium on the principles of transparency and using civic tools to optimize efficiency.
“Citizens will be able to verify and monitor the government’s progress using their mobile phones, and can report their feedback via the platform.”