…PERL, Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM) trains Planning Officers, Citizens on Accountability, Service Delivery
In its sustained drive to enhance accountability and seamless service delivery at the local government level in Kaduna state, Partnership to Engage and Learn (PERL) in collaboration with Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), on Monday October 25, 2021, organized a two-day technical session to increase the capacity and technical expertise of citizen groups and planning officers in the state.
To this end, the Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), a collaborative initiative of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Civil Society partners and Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL/FCDO), working as technical working groups to strengthen governance at the grassroots, have reviewed the Kaduna state 2022 budget with trend analysis, observations and recommendations.
The review of the ₦1,134,051,180.71 billion Ministry for local government affairs draft budget was done with CSOs, Media and Planning officers of the local government areas.
The significance of an effective and people-centered local government administration in promoting inclusive development, poverty reduction and security of lives and properties cannot be over-emphasized. However, this is dependent on the sustainable delivery of robust governance reforms, strengthening fiscal responsibility and improvement in the quantity and quality of service delivery. The Kaduna state government through the Ministry for Local Government Affairs with support from the civil society and development partners is facilitating far-reaching governance reforms through providing effective coordination and technical support to the 23 Local Governments.
The reforms have birthed the Local Government Reform Law, Local Government Development Plan (LGDP), participatory budgeting using the Community Development Charter (CDC) and Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability & Sustainability (LFTAS) program. As a result, on average over fifty percent of the 23 local government budgets are now being informed by the CDC and for sustainability, an accountability mechanism with equal membership of government officials and citizens’ representatives to champion the reforms has been inaugurated and trained.
To consolidate on and deepen these reforms, adequate funding for the Ministry for Local Government Affairs in the 2022 budget is significantly required. Similarly, it is important that community needs that were prioritized across the 23 local governments, using the CDC tool, inform the Kaduna State 2022 budget. This will amplify the government’s commitment to an open budget in the State Action Plan (SAP) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP); and likewise, the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability & Sustainability (SFTAS) DLI 2.2.
Ministry for Local Government Affairs (MoLGA)
- Trend Analysis 2019-2021 (Recurrent + Capital)
|Year||Ministry for Local Government Affairs||State Total Budget||Percentage|
Over the period of the analysis it has shown that total allocations to the Ministry for Local Government Affairs compared to the total budget has been below one percent, with the highest allocation being 2021 at 0.9%. Understandably, the major mandate of the Ministry is to coordinate and support the local government administration. However, considering the strategic role the Ministry can play in poverty reduction and community development it is key that more funds are allocated to it.
- Trend Analysis 2019-2020 (Capital Performance)
|2021 (Half Year)||2,333,053,374.09||₦1,086,162,968.51||₦1,246,890,405.58||46.6%|
TheKaduna State Auditor-General’s Reports show that in 2019 there was actual performance of 50.9%; while the amounts captured in 2020 do not add up. However, the same amount appeared in 2019 and 2020 as actual performance under the budget line item – Reclamation of Communal forest Reserves across the 23 LGAs. In the 2021 half year budget performance report, it shows a 46.6% actual performance. From all indications, there is a need to improve releases, more so, cash-backing for the people-centric line items under the Ministry’s budget.
- 2022 Budget Allocation Breakdown
The 2022 draft budget shows that capital expenditure has 74.1% of the total allocation to the Ministry, with the recurrent getting 25.9%. Even though this is commendable, considering the strategic role the Ministry is playing towards accelerating inclusive rural development through governance reforms, more should be allocated to capital expenditure. This will contribute immensely to addressing inequality, poverty, hunger and insecurity.
- Top Three Capital Expenditure Allocation 2022 Draft Budget
|Budget Line Item||2022 Amount Submitted by MoLGA||2022 Draft (Amount)||% Slashed||2020 Revised Amount||2021 Amount|
|Rural Feeder Roads Project||₦1,264,278,851.88||₦ 398,567,311.13||68.5%||111,883,152.18||₦970,127,008.05|
|Kauru Special Intervention on Rural Electrification Projects||₦326,074,324.74||₦195,644,594.84||40.1%||₦152,475,446.92||₦173,891,083.55|
|Purchase and Installation of Transformers||₦256,695,816.52||₦ 154,017,489.91||40.1%||₦228,354,598.81||₦578,007,411.32|
Observation: The above table shows that the Ministry for Local Government Affairs proposed ₦1,847,048,991 for the top three projects, which was slashed by 59.5% to ₦748,229,394. This amount is 88.9% of the total capital expenditure of ₦841,187,365 under the Ministry. The slash to ₦398,567,311.13 from the initially proposed ₦1,264,278,851.88 for Rural Feeder Road Projects, should be reconsidered considering the importance of feeder roads to boasting rural economies and providing access road for security agencies for quick response to banditry.
Community Development Charter (CDC)
The Community Development Charters (CDCs) were used to prioritize the needs of communities to inform the Local Government, State and Federal budgets. For the state budget, five local governments were able to submit CDCs to the Planning & Budget Commission for the state 2022 budget. The prioritized needs cuts across the health, education, and infrastructure such as feeder roads and rural electrification. This provides the Ministry a pool of projects especially those on feeder roads and rural electrification.
While explaining the essence of the Local Government budget review, State Lead Partnership to Engage and Learn (PERL) Mr Abel Adejor, stressed the need to strengthen transparency in the procurement process at the Local Government level through tracking and monitoring of project implementation.
“Given the benefits of service delivery, accountability and transparency in governance, United Kingdom is supporting budget implementation in Nigeria with British tax payers money to improve the lot of ordinary Nigerians”, Adejor remarked.
Mr Yusuf Goje of Coalition of Associations for Leaders, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED), one the facilitators of the budget review called on participants and other critical stakeholders sensitize citizens on the need to engage and monitor the governance process, “because if the people go sleep, governance or government also goes to sleep”.