COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM SERIES WITH THE HONORABLE CAFRA CAINO, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, KAJURU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA ON, COVID-19: LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE, RECOVERY AND ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM

Cafra Casino, chairman, Kajuru local government area of Kaduna

Preamble

On the 17th July, 2020, the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) in collaboration with Ground Zero Radio Show and Partnership to Engage Reform & Learn (PERL) organize the Virtual Edition of the Local Government Accountability Mechanism Series with the Executive Chairman, Kajuru local government area, Honorable Cafra Caino on, Covid-19: Local Government Response, Recovery & Accountability Mechanism.

The interactive engagement had the objectives of: reviewing the impact of Covid-19 on the Local government areas administration and reforms; facilitate experience-sharing of the response and recovery measures of Local government councils; and brainstorm on strategies to accelerate recovery leveraging on the local government of accountability mechanism. The participants were drawn from the Local government council, civil society actors (Community Development Charter (CDC) Champions) within the local government), media and development partners.

In the course of the engagement with the Executive Chairman of Kajuru Local government council and other stakeholders a number of key observations were noted and resolutions reached.

Observations:

the local government area is faced the twin challenge of checking the spread of covid-19 and resolving the insecurity situation;
the participants commended the Executive Chairman for availing himself to engage with stakeholders on his response effort to Covid-19 pandemic, recovery plans and accountability mechanism;
the local government council has also been battling with insecurity since its swearing in 2019, with priority placed on supporting the security agencies, expanding telecommunication, constructing access roads to reduce response time, carrying out sensitization and dialogue to increase mutual trust, constituting the Civilian Joint Taskforce (vigilante) and setting up the Peace, Truth and Reconciliation Committee;
the local government is in need of increased aerial surveillance around the boundaries, however, the security agencies are carrying out group operations and are routing the bandits out to their camps;
the council has officially set-up three internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the local government, and has urged that other camps set up as a result of the insecurity should be brought to its attention for intervention;
presently, the local government area has not recorded any case of Covid-19, as the suspected cases turned out negative without the virus;
to ensure the spread is checked from spreading into the local government, the council has been encouraging adherence to the protocol, monitoring the situation, engaging in risk communication and empowering the frontline health workers to respond to any suspected case;
the revenue base of the local government has been hit hard due to lockdown of major markets and disruption of farming activities due to insecurity and covid-19 response, dwindling federal allocations and increment of minimum wage;
the council has followed in the steps of the Federal and State government by revising its 2020 budget to be more realistic, and with priority given to security, agriculture, health and education;
the council is working with partners to ensure that farmers in the local government get access to fertilizer on loan that is payable in twelve months, and presently, ten thousand farmers are being mobilized for input support under another intervention;
the health military has supported the local government by refurbishing some of the spoiled ambulances in rural hospitals among other support to strengthen the health response to covid-19;
the recovery plan of the Council is hinged on strengthening and expanding partnership with the Federal, State, private sector and civil society;
administratively, the council has adapted by initiating e-governance (digitalization) in the day to day running of its activities to ensure the sustenance of service-delivery;
the council is in the process of putting together a long term development plan that will last either ten or twenty years, which will be forwarded to the State government for alignment and technical support; and
the council has expressed it willingness to ensure the institutionalization and sustenance of the local government accountability mechanism.

Resolutions:
the civil society actors will partner with the local government council in the area of risk communication on covid-19, escalating suspected cases and contact tracing;
the council will ensure that new strategies are initiated to strengthen the implementation and sustenance of ongoing local governance reforms;
the civil society will engage the council to ensure the effective implementation of the Local Government Accountability Mechanism action-plan;
the council will work with civil society actors to ensure effective citizen’s engagement while adhering to covid-19 protocol during the 2021 Community Development Charter (CDC) and entire budget process
the council as part of recovery plan will reach out to Kayit Tours in the areas of reviving the tourism and hospitality sector, and also, with the Network of Civil Society in Environment to support hazard profiling in the local government;

Signed:
Yusuf Goje
Head- Leadership, Governance & Advocacy
CALPED

Ehis Agbon,
Executive Producers/Presenter,
Ground Zero Radio Show

Gloria Bulus
Founder/CEO,
Bridge That Gap

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