Connected Development (CODE), a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to empower marginalized communities in Africa, in partnership with the Office of the Special Adviser to Kano State Government on NGOs Saturday held an interactive session on budget tracking and the role of non-governmental organizations in tracking community budgets in Kano, Nigeria.
Through its Follow the Money campaign, CODE is tracking government spending and international aid in rural communities and is currently working in 3 African countries of Kenya, Gambia and Nigeria. By engaging local communities, CODE is able to track how funds meant for capital expenditures are being spent in critically-important areas like, education and healthcare and environmental sustainability.
While delivering the opening remarks at the budget tracking session, Dr Abdulhadi Zubairu Chula, special adviser on non-governmental organizations to the Kano State Government said it was necessary for NGOs in Kano state to engage in budget tracking so that the citizens of the state would be enlightened on budget processes and urged them to identify a specific tier of government to do the budget tracking i.e local, state, or federal government budgets.
Hamzat Lawal, CODE’s chief executive while speaking said the meeting was an opportunity to dialogue and share ideas as well as explore opportunities for collaborations adding that the major challenges associated with budget tracking was “access to information and access to information is key to budget tracking.”
He said individuals engaging in budget tracking also faced challenges like trying to access hard-to-reach rural communities, police harassment, and therefore urged the Kano State Government to work with NGOs in budget processes in the principle of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which the state has signed on to.
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