The Kaduna State Government has promised a robust engagement with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state for the benefit of the citizens.
The Special Adviser to Gov. Una Sani on NGOs, Sakina Garba, said this in Kaduna at a one day engagement to review the submission of citizens groups to transition committee and tracking its implementation.
Garba noted that because of the importance the governor attached to the citizens, he created the Office of the Special Adviser on NGOs at his office and that of his Deputy, to critically look into concerns of citizens in every sphere of his administration
She therefore urged NGOs and CSOs in Kaduna to take advantage of the opportunity to build more synergy with the state government.
Similarly, her counterpart in the office of the Deputy Governor, Mr Zubairu Mukthar, said CSOs and NGOs were partners with the government, adding that they all had a common goal to achieve in making life of citizens better in all spheres.
He assured participants at the review meeting that it would be a new dawn for NGOs and CSOs in Kaduna State.
He also assured transparency and accountability as key words in their engagements.
Earlier, the State Lead of Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), Mr Abel Adejor, said electioneering period was over and it was now time for governance and holding those elected into public offices accountable.
He said prior to the elections, engagements were held with the Partnership for Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), where gubernatorial candidates were present and the citizens demand charter was presented to them.
“Now that we are going to look at government direction, we will look at areas in all sectors that require intervention.
“Through dialogue we will see how we can hold the government accountable,” he said.
Adejor, therefore, noted that the objectives of the review meeting were to reflect on the agenda-setting activities during the 2023 gubernatorial elections with focus on influence of citizens’ demand charter.
He said it was also to facilitate dialogue with strategic political appointees to generate strategies to support and track the implementation of the Sen. Uba Sani’s “Sustain blueprint” and jointly agree on next steps to strengthen partnership.
Also, Mr Yusuf Goje, representative of PICaN, disclosed that it was engagement and demand charter, developed through its programmes, that influenced some content of Gov. Uba Sani’s “Sustain Agenda”.
Presenting a paper titled “Agenda setting, journey so far”, Goje said in the health sector, PICaN submitted 14 needs – four reflected in the blueprint (Sustain Agenda) of Gov. Uba Sani.
He also said that on social protection, they submitted seven demands where five were included in the state government’s “Sustain agenda”.
According to Goje, the demands they presented in the charter for education were nine, out of which three were reflected in the ‘Agenda.
Speaking further, he predicted that the 2027 election in the state would feature more engagements with candidates.
“We believe by the next election, the engagement will be more robust, even the politicians are seeing that we are moving towards governance and the electorate are becoming more aware,” he said.
He, therefore, said in view of the successes recorded, what they would do next was to track the “sustain blueprint”.
“Our next step is tracking the ‘Sustain Blueprint’ and citizens demand influence. After four years, that is what we will use as his result sheet for the Kaduna State Government.
“We will continue to track because we have the state government development plan. The SUSTAIN blueprint has seven areas of focus which we will track.
“State Development Plan 2021 to 2025, which will be looking at impact of services if they are changing and improving lives of the people. We will use it as a baseline to see if the government is making progress or not,” Goje said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that CSOs at the review meeting presented their submissions of the inclusivity of government’s Agenda, and the progress/challenges they encountered in the course of their activities.
The CSOs included the Kaduna Tax Justice Network, Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM), Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KAD-LGAM), and Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC).
Other participants cut across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state.