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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE DAY PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON VALIDATING THE CIVIL SOCIETY DRAFT POSITION PAPER TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE TRANSITION COMMITTEE.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE DAY PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON VALIDATING THE CIVIL SOCIETY DRAFT POSITION PAPER TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE TRANSITION COMMITTEE.

PREAMBLE

On the 8th April, 2023, towards developing a position paper to be submitted to Kaduna State transition committee, the Partnership for Issue–Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN) on behalf of PERL’s supported partners facilitated a virtual session to validate the draft position paper developed as an output of an earlier activity.

The dialogue had the objectives to: review the civil society draft position paper to wider citizens group and accountability mechanisms; generate more inputs into the draft before validation; and agree on next steps towards finalizing and presenting the paper to the Kaduna State transition committee.

In attendance were representatives of Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn-PERL, OGP Co-chair, CALPED, BREDPAC, Follow-Taxes, Connecting Gender for Development, Bridge that Gap Initiative, Tax Justice Network, LGAM, KADSPAC, CDC Champions, Natsa Foni Foundation, Media and other stakeholders.

During the course of the dialogue a number of key observations were made and resolutions reached.

For the first time in the history of Kaduna, citizens engaged seven gubernatorial candidates on what they intend to do on issues that directly affects the ordinary man as regards health, education, employment, agriculture, security and other sectors. Also citizens groups presented demand charters which informed and aligned with some of the candidates’ blueprints.

The outgoing administration has initiated and invested in a number of reforms, some of which includes: the Open Government Partnership (OGP), SFTAS, LFTAS which is a replica of the SFTAS, and the CDC.

Citizens’ groups through the various accountability mechanisms, networks and individual organizations, supported by development partners, have participated and engaged in the implementation of these reforms as well as service delivery processes.

The reforms, though not hundred percent implemented, have improved public transparency, accountability, responsiveness as well as citizens’ engagement. As such, the incoming administration needs to break the jinx of policy summersault, by reviewing and carrying over some of these reforms to improve accountability, transparency and collaboration with the citizens.

Some of the achievements and recognition the State has gotten globally and otherwise were as results of citizens’ engagements. This raises concern as to why there is no representative of the citizens’ groups in the sixty five person transition committee.

ARC, the other pillar of PERL are supporting the Reforms Sustainability Committee in the State. More so, letters were sent to few members of the CS to be part of the sustainability committee but it is worrisome that meetings were held without informing them to participate. It was noted that the Ministry for Local Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and KADIRS presented citizens’ contributions.

The civil society groups and accountability mechanisms have drafted a position paper with eight key points to be presented to the transition committee for consideration. These include: building gains of existing reforms; public financial management; expanding tax rate instead of tax rates; allocation to strategic priorities; review and adhere to the State’s result-based monitoring & evaluation policy; Strengthening systems to deepen fight against poverty; strengthening citizens engagement; and local government financing. However the above are still under review and might be updated.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As part of the issues to be presented, the incoming administration should strengthen compliance to and enforcement of existing laws;

There is a need to strengthen democracy at the local level to ensure timely elections of LG councils are held and the appointment of Caretaker Committees should be abolished .

The government should adhere to budget realism as it is a major reason why some projects and interventions are not being adequately financed in the State due to the challenge of cash-backing.

Facilitation of engagements with media partners, and also via social media, to amplify and advocate for issues raised by civil society, even after presentation to the transition committee.

NEXT STEPS

Invite other members of the wider civil society before the finalization to make further inputs into the draft position paper to have a more robust document.

Convene another meeting slated for April 15th, 2023, to finalize the document and concretize strategies to engage the transition committee.

Signed:

Seth Luke
For: Partnership for Issues-Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN)

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