COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE VIRTUAL BUDGET REVIEW MEETING ON THE KADUNA STATE 2022 APPROVED BUDGET OF THE MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS BY MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM (LGAM), KADUNA STATE

Preamble

On the 3rd of January, 2022, the Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), made up of members from the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna state, organized a virtual budget review meeting on the recently approved 2022 budget by the Executive Governor of the State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai. During the budget preparation and appropriation process, the mechanism had analyzed the 2022 draft budget of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs, presented and submitted it at the Appropriation Public Hearing of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The objectives of the meeting were to review the Kaduna state 2022 approved budget to track influence of the mechanism’s submission; and agree on budget advocacy next steps to ensure effective implementation. In attendance were members of various local government technical working groups, LGAM secretariat and media partners.

Observations

The Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM) together with other mechanisms supported by the Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL) analyzed the Kaduna State 2022 draft budget, harmonized, presented and submitted it at the Appropriation Public Hearing. LGAM analyzed the draft budget of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs and made recommendations.

Upon the approval of the 2022 budget, LGAM reviewed its analysis of the budget of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs to track the influence of its recommendations.

The Honorable Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and Honorable Commissioner, Planning & Budget Commission kept their commitments made at the public hearing that civil society recommendations will be considered and factored into the 2022 budget.

Out of the six recommendations under the draft budget of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs submitted by LGAM, three were captured in the approved budget. The breakdown shows one recommendation under capital and two others under the overhead expenditures of the Ministry’s budget.

The draft budget had shown an allocation of ₦398,567,311.13 for the Rural Feeder Roads Project. LGAM recommended that the State government should increase the allocation to at least ₦1,000,000,000.00 closer to the amount initially submitted by the Ministry. The review showed the approved budget reflected the recommendation of ₦1,000,000,000.00 as proposed by LGAM.

Under overhead expenditure, LGAM had recommended that the amount of ₦109,309,171.61 allocated to Contribution to Traditional Council (Emirates & Chiefdom) should be increased at least by 100%. The review showed the allocation was increased to ₦298,429,935.48.

Similarly, it is observed that the budget line item on Coronation of new emirs and chiefs was missing with no allocation. LGAM had proposed that between ₦90,000,000 and ₦100,000,000 should be allocated. The review showed that the budget line item was inputted with an allocation of ₦100,000,000. This is an increased allocation of ₦601,432,689 from the initial amount captured in the draft budget.

It was also noted that other critical budget line items that are critical to rural development in the Ministry’s approved budget were not increased as recommended. Hence the need to follow-up on the justification for the non-increment of allocation to the budget line items.

The Kaduna State Executive and Legislature were commended by participants for being responsive to the recommendations of LGAM, other mechanisms and civil society organizations in the 2022 budget preparation and appropriation process.

However, this is just the first step as the next most important phase is ensuring implementation and value for money. This is more so because 2022 is a campaign year in preparation for the 2023 general elections, which might distract some of the decision-makers who will be engaged in politicking.

The issue of the Community Development Charter (CDC) informing the 2022 approved budget, as six Local Governments made submission, remains unclear as most of the budget line items are lumped up.

Resolutions

The meeting resolved that:

the Kaduna State Executive and Legislature should be commended by LGAM for demonstrating responsiveness to citizens’ engagement in the spirit of Open Government Partnership (OGP);

LGAM should officially write a letter of commendation to the Executive and Legislative arms of government for considering and capturing its recommendations in the 2022 approved budget;

the letter of commendation to SHoA, Planning and Budget Commision should emphasize on the need for cash backing and ensure effective implementation between first and third quarters ahead of fourth quarter that will be intensively election focused.

LGAM should publicly amplify the result of the approved budget review of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs to mobilize more citizens to participate in tracking, monitoring and reporting of implementation;

LGAM to lobby members of the Liquidity Management Committee to ensure timely and adequate releases/cash-backing;

LGAM should engage the Ministry for Local Government to collaboratively work together in ensuring that the 2022 budget of the Ministry is implemented with emphasis on timeliness, quality and value for money;

LGAM to develop a tracking tool to ensure we give quarterly updates to the government on the status of implementation; and

the relevant CDC nominated projects should be considered in the utilization of the ₦1,000,000,000.00 allocated for the Rural Feeder Roads Project.

Signed

Yayandi Andrew
Sanga Local Government Champion
For Community Development Charter (CDC) Champions, Kaduna state

Yusuf Ishaku Goje
Secretariat,
Local Government Accountability Mechanism

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