CODE moves to bridge Communication gaps between constituents, lawmakers
By: Femi Mustapha
In its move to ensure transparency and accountability in executing constituency projects, Connect Development (CODE) under its programme, Deepening Citizens Interest in Government Spending and Addressing the Accompanying Corrupt Practices, (DeSPAAC) yesterday assembled Legislative Aides of Lawmakers and Community Monitoring Teams (CMTs) in Kaduna to brainstorm on how to bridge communication gaps between the two parties for successful constituency projects.
According to the Program Assistant of CODE, Abubakar Mohammed the programme was brought together to strengthen the partnership between project stakeholders and to increase awareness of Open Government Partnership (OGP), get feedback from the communities through the CMTs and community leaders that will be present, as well as the government.
He also said the meeting will evaluate the performance of the nomination and monitoring tools; as well as strengthen the flow of information between the implementing MDAs, contractors and community stakeholders.
In her remarks, the Program Officer of CODE Ruth Okafor, said lack of communication between stakeholders and lawmakers has been identified as a problem in constituency projects and it’s citing as most times communities did not get the project they actually needed.
Okafor said lawmakers through their legislative aides should have a roundtable discussion with beneficiaries of projects to identify what they needed and where it should be cited, stressing that in doing this the issue of project vandalism would be addressed at the community will take ownership of such project.
Community Monitoring Teams, (CMTs) present at the engagement tabled before the legislative aides, records of their track projects within their constituencies and how some lawmakers have put barriers between them when presenting the voice of the communities to them.
Responding, Samuel Yohanna the legislative aide to Member representing Kaduna South Federal Constituency, Hon Mukhtar Monrovia, said Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs) including CMTs are the mirrors which lawmakers can see their reflections, hence they should ensure to close the communication gaps.
He said sometimes people applauded the lawmakers because of political gains, therefore, the CSOs and CMTs should brace up and stand as the voice of the people, by not being antagonistic.
Yohanna said, the legislative aides present at the engagement have resolved to brief their principals on the outcome of the meeting, and ensure that all communication gaps are bridged.