Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), has urged Civil society groups and other stakeholders in Kaduna to prioritize tracking of resources allocated in the 2022 budget for MDAs to ensure appropriate implementation.
The State team Lead of PERL, Funded by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office(FCDO), UK, Mr. Abel Adejor made the call at a one day Postmortem session with Various Accountability Mechanisms group in Kaduna.
According to him, it is not enough to get the budget approved, but implementation is the utmost, therefore, called on the various Accountability mechanisms not to over protect their turf, but seek collaboration among themselves.
Mr Adejor also harped on the need for the CSOs to pay a thank you visit to the Speaker, Kaduna House of Assembly, Hon. Yusuf Zailani and other Lawmakers for the increased in the approved budget due to the influence of mechanisms.
He identified lack of tracking as the main problem facing releases and Cash backing of budget, noting budget tracking is not a witch-hunt exercise, but to promote transparency and accountability in governance.
He also said that the problem in the country was not allocation of resources, but channeling or utilization of such allocation in the right direction.
In her remarks, Co-Chair, Citizens, Open Governmnet Partnership (OGP), Hadiza Umar, commended the citizens input in the 2022 approved budget, saying, CSOs have demonstrated that they are there to serve the citizens of Kaduna State.
She stressed the importance of collaboration between the CSOs and the government through qualitative engagement.
Umar, however, warned that it is not yet hurray for the mechanisms, rather beginning of a better engagement that will benefit the citizens.
She described appropriating money as a step towards addressing the nation’s citizens challenge and that the release and how it was utilized would determine if actually CSOs could curtail the menace of poverty and underdevelopment.
Presenting the report of the 2022 Budget as it affected the health sector, Secretary of the Kaduna Maternal Accountable Mechanism(KADMAM), Comrade Bako Abdul said N41billion was approved for the health sector in the 2022 Budget.
He explained that N12.34b is for the recurrent and N28.648 for Capital.
Similarly, the Secretary of the Kaduna Social protection Accountability Mechanism (KADSPAC), Philip Yatai said, a total of N29.9 billion, representing 10.7% of the total budget is for Social Protections which is multi sectoral.
He therefore said the only way to
ensure the Social Protection budget become realistic is to follow up the amount release to ensure it meet the intended goals.
In the same vein, Cordinator, Civil Society, Scalling Up Nutrition (CS-SUN), Jessica Bartholomew said both Specific and Sensitive Nutrition interventions in Kaduna state are N9.8B and Capital budget is N184.5m.
She informed the gathering the need to track the Nutrition budget in the 23 Local Government Areas.
Speaking on the objectives of the meeting, Secretary, Open Governmnet partnership(OGP),Mr. Joshua James said, the meeting is to assess citizens influence in the 2022 approved budget using harmonized as presented by Accountability mechanisms.
He added that it is also to enhance Civil society and the media partner capacity, effectively engage government with findings from postmortem and to generate next steps and strategy for tracking 2022 budget implementation as well as advocacy to improve releases for sectors.