An NGO, Connected Development (CODE) on Monday, called on elected representatives to open more spaces for citizens to participate in planning and implementation of constituency projects.
CODE’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, made the call in Kafanchan at a town hall meeting organized for community members, government officials and duty bearers to discuss execution of projects.
Lawal, represented by Mrs. Lucy Abagi, CODE’s Senior Programme Manager, stressed the need for elective representatives to consult the people in the planning and implementation of constituency projects.
According to him, the move will ensure that projects speak to the needs of the people and ensure ownership and sustainability.
He explained that the objective of the meeting was to enlighten community members on their rights to participate in decisions making process on issues that affected them, particularly constituency projects.
“The meeting is also organized to draw the attention of elected representatives at the State and National Assemblies on the need to involve the people in project design and implementation.
“It also provides an opportunity for us to dialogue and find way for lasting peace for sustainable development to thrive,” he said.
He explained that the town hall meeting was organized under the Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) projects, supported by MacArthur Foundation.
Mr.Abubakar Mohammed, CODE’s Project Assistant, said that 18 Community Monitoring Teams have been mobilized to track 23 constituency projects in 10 Local Government Areas (LGA), across the three Senatorial Districts.
Mohammed identified the LGAs as Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Sabon Gari, Makarfi, Kaura and Zangon Kataf and Jema’a, Ikara, and Zaria.
He said that the projects cut across education, water sanitation and hygiene and the health sectors.
The Project Manager, Mr. Kinsley Agu, stressed the need for community members to monitor the execution of constituency projects and ask critical questions where necessary in order to ensure quality and timely delivery.
Agu said that the state government had provided several platforms for people to monitor and make complaints on the execution of projects in their communities.
He listed the platforms as the Citizens Projects Monitoring Application called “Eyes and Ears”, toll free call center, letters and various social media handles of the government.
Mr. Ezekiel Jura, Principal Monitoring Officer, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), said that the government in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations had been conducting series of sensitizations on how to use the platforms.
Jura said that so far, a total of 76 complaints had been received by the Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the PBC.
He said that nine complaints were received from Kaduna North Senatorial District, 40 from Kaduna Central Senatorial Districts and 27 from Kaduna South Senatorial District.
He also added that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai had directed the respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies to take appropriate action to address the issues.
Newsmen reports that participants at the meeting include; government officials, representatives from the offices of elected representatives at the State and National Assembly.
Others are: officials of Kaura, Zangon Kataf and Jema’a Local Government Councils, women leaders, community monitoring teams, religious and traditional leaders, School-Based Management Committees.