A Kaduna-based non-governmental organisation, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) with support from MacArthur Foundation has concluded a 2-day meeting on discussion of findings of public projects monitored in Soba, Chikun and Kaura local government areas of Kaduna State between November 2020 and February 2021.
The meeting discussed the findings from the tracking and engagement with service providers in the basic education, primary health care and rural water supply projects in the selected three local government areas of Kaduna State.
The meeting, which primarily centred on the dissemination of findings of tracking and scorecard by LANW under the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability Project in the Education Sector (STATNES) held between Wednesday, March 10 and Thursday, March 11.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after the meeting which held at a Hotel in Barnawa, Kaduna, the Executive Director, LANW, Barr Rebecca Sako John said, the monitoring of public projects in the selected LGAs has offered her organisation the opportunity to come up with realistic need assessment that can help the authority arrived at key need-oriented projects and budget planning.
She said, “this meeting is a kind of validation meeting between our community monitors and stakeholders including some of the service providers from the ministries and authorities that are supervising service providers. It is the result of our tracking of the public projects in education, health and provision of safe water in Soba, Chikun and Kaura local government areas.
“Now we have validated the reports and the scorecard that were produced. We also look at the recommendations to ensure they are comprehensive enough for the different stakeholders.
The next step will be to hold the dissemination meeting where we shall bring in more stakeholders including supervising authorities like the planning and budget commission, Ministries of Health, Finance, Health, SUBEB, healthcare and RUWASA to look at these findings and recommendations because what we have seen from the tracking of these projects can also serve as the need assessment document for these authorities.
“Some of the projects are old and need either repair or total rebuild. Going forward, since we are unable to see the acclaimed need assessment they conducted before they developed their budget, this one we have developed can help them.
“This is a challenge for them to engage the communities in developing their needs assessment. Already, we have given them information on areas they need to take action”, she explained.
A community Monitor from Bagado in Chikun local government, Mary Iliya, Bagado, who participated in the meeting said, the continuous building of her capacity by LANW has to help raise more interested individuals in tracking public procurements in her community.
She said, “this about the fifth time I would be attending this training. I appreciate the organisation for always keeping us on our toes with regards to the monitoring of public projects in Bagado.
“My take-home from this particular meeting is how to step down the knowledge that I have gained in the community to see how we can live better.
Rabiu Ibrahim Turawa hails from and monitors projects in Turawa in Soba local government. To him, the review and cross-learning meeting have provided him with another opportunity to do more in projects monitoring in the interest of his community.
“I have learnt a lot in this review meeting. I will go back home with the zeal to encourage my people to support me in monitoring some schools, health facilities and RUWASA water project many of which stopped functioning shortly after they were commissioned.
“This is important so we can collectively draw the attention of the responsible ministry or agency for a repair or rebuild depending on the outcome of their assessment”, he said.