KNSG, PERL workshop: Participants want completion of 5km roads
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
As Kano State Government, under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in its magnanimity, has developed the spirit of completing projects started by previous administrations in the last four years, a gesture which augurs well for the state, a plea has been sent to the governor to consider completion of more projects abandoned by his immediate predecessor, especially those of the five-kilometer roads across the 44 local government areas of the state.
Stakeholders at a quarterly budget forum organized by the state Ministry of Planning and Budget in collaboration with DFID-PERL held recently in the state capital made the appeal, believing that if completed, such projects will do more good to the entire people of the state.
One of the presenters of papers prepared to educate the gathering, Malam Safiyanu Bichi acknowledged that in its own wisdom, the administration of Governor Ganduje has initiated more new projects in addition to the continuation of the old ones he inherited, citing such new ones to include Loko Kalakal and Karkara Salama Alaikum.
Malam Bichi was of the belief that if these new projects would be implemented fully, making emphasis on Karkara Salama Alaikum, they will surely alleviate the suffering of the people of the state as the initiative will go a long way in uplifting the living standard of rural dwellers in particular.
According to him, the five kilometer road projects, if completed by the Ganduje administration, will affect the rural dwellers positively as they will surely boost their socio-economic lives.
He urged labour unions such as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), to always look at or talk about what will come or was allocated to the people at the grassroots in the state budget document in terms of projects as they are more closer to them, adding that this will help transform the lives of people at the rural areas.
Malam Bichi, who made a presentation on ‘Citizens’ Input, Prospects and Planning for Budget Tracking’ urged stakeholders to get prepared for more advocacy when the new administration starts on May 29 this year.
He referred to six sectoral allocations in the 2019 budget, namely; education, water, health, agriculture, rural development and infrastructure, where he observed that only two per cent of projects was allocated to 36 local government areas that are outside the municipality, while the remaining 98 per cent of the projects under the six sectors were allocated to local government areas within the metropolis.
Malam Bichi said constituency projects have been making great impact to the entire people of the state, pointing out that if not for the constituency projects undertaken by the lawmakers, especially those at the National Assembly, there could have been no presence of the Federal Government in so many states of the federation.
Earlier, Malam Akibu Hamisu Garko of Kano Budget Working Group, in a similar presentation on ‘Identified Citizens’ Input from the 2019 Budget- Prospects and Plans for Tracking,’ said they were able to mentor identified community based organizations from the 44 local government areas of the state and other organizations such as All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Amalgamated Artisan Traders Association (AMATA) and People With Disabilities (PWDS) on how to generate inputs from the citizens.
Malam Garko told the gathering that only seven per cent was identified as input from the citizens in this year’s budget, hoping that the performance of the group will improve in future.
He said the group made the gain in the budget from the eight sectors it identified as education, health, agriculture, women affairs, environment, water, infrastructure and rural development, while some stakeholders observed that the seven per cent was too small as input in the budget from the group.
The village head of Gwarzo, Alhaji Muhammad Halliru Gwarzo was of such opinion as per the input of the group in the budget.
In his welcome address, the State Facilitator of PERL, Malam Yunusa Hamza, appreciated the turn up of participants at the event, reiterating that the collaboration will help in making the process of governance more responsive to the demands of the citizens in the state.
He later read the objectives of the event as, to showcase level of citizens’ engagement in the 2019 budget processes and to articulate plans for proper tracking.
Another objective he said was to strengthen collaboration and networking amongst relevant partners.
In his goodwill message at the occasion, the Director of Budget at the state Ministry of Planning and Budget, Alhaji Tayyab Na’Abba, said they were able, for the first time in the history of the state, to involve civil society organizations at bilateral budget discussion together with members of the state House of Assembly.
Alhaji Na’Abba also said they again engaged the civil society organizations during a public financial engagement held sometime back in Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said they also invited the civil society organizations when they were preparing an action plan for fiscal responsibility process, adding that they shared experience and learnt from each other through the engagement, hoping that future engagement would be more fruitful.
The director also said they needed the support of the civil society organizations in the area of tracking the budget with a view to overcoming the problem in it.