STEPS TO TAKE IN ENGAGING THE JUST APPROVED KADUNA STATE 23 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS (LGAs) 2023 BUDGETS
The Kaduna State House of Assembly recently passed a bill for a Law to appropriate the sum of N85,491,289,583.38 for the 23 Local Government Councils in Kaduna State for the 2023 fiscal year.
It is important to note that the Kaduna State Local Government Reform Law, 2018, in section 56, mandates the Councils to operate a culture of participatory governance and empowers residents of the LGAs to participate in the preparation, implementation and review of Local Government Development Plan; assessment of the performance of Local Government Executive Councils; and preparation of LG Budget.
Furthermore, section 57 (1) states that: Local governments shall establish appropriate mechanisms, processes and procedures to enable the local communities participate in the affairs of the local government area.
Also, section 62 states: A local government shall ensure that at least sixty (60) per cent of its net revenue after contributions to the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board and Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, is utilized in the development and provision of basic infrastructure and services for the inhabitants of the local government area.
In view of the above and towards engaging the recently passed 2023 LGA budgets, below are a few recommended steps:
1. Visit the Local Government Secretariat to confirm if the approved version has been sent to them and get a copy. According to the Local Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (LFTAS) program criteria, the Council is expected to make copies available and upload online so that residents can have access.
2. After getting a copy, scan through it to check areas of interest such as sector or projects in your community in the budget. You can either do an analysis using priority allocation or equity in terms of distribution. Also, you can directly go to the sector you are interested in, say education, health or agriculture. Lastly, you can directly check which capital projects are captured in your community.
3. Mobilize and sensitize stakeholders in your community on your findings and then organize them to pay a budget advocacy visit to the Chairman to show appreciation to the Council and seek for the prioritization of budget releases for the sector of interest or projects in your community.
4. Follow-up on the procurement process to ensure the guidelines are adhered to in selecting the contractor for the project(s) in your community.
5. In line with the Local Government Development Plan (LGDP), it is expected that the LGA Councils are supposed to provide a procurement manual with the details of the contract in each community to the councilors, village heads and community supervisors. In view of this, make an official request to the Executive Council for the procurement manual.
6. Set up a committee in collaboration with the councilors of your ward and village heads of the benefiting community to track the execution of the project by the contractor. According to the LGDP, the LG Councils are expected to organize quarterly stakeholders town-hall meeting to discuss your findings, captured as Community Project Report Card, and take action
7. If you have any challenge reach-out to the Executive or Legislative Councils, Ministry for Local Government Affairs or Kaduna State Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KAD-LGAM) firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media.
Lets engage, ask the right questions and hold the government accountable.