Kaduna govt promises robust engagement with citizens
By: Femi Mustapha
The Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Sen. Uba Sani has promised a robust engagement with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state for the benefit of the citizens.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on NGOs, Sakina Garba, said this in Kaduna at a one-day engagement review of the submission of citizens groups to the transition committee and track the implementation.
The meeting was organized by the Partnership for Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), with support from Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), a UK-supported governance program.
Garba noted that because of the importance the Governor attached to the citizens, he created the office of the SA to NGOs at his office and that of his Deputy, to critically look into the concerns of citizens in every sphere of his administration.
She, therefore, urged all 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, Comrade Zubairu Mukthar, said CSOs and NGOs are partners with the Government, adding that they all have a common goal to achieve which is making the life of citizens better in all space.
He assured the participants at the review meeting that it is a new dawn for NGOs and CSOs in Kaduna state.
He also assured transparency and accountability to be the keywords in their engagement.
Earlier, the State Lead of PERL, Mr Abel Adejor, said that the electioneering period was over and it is now time for governance and holding those elected into public offices accountable.
He said before the elections, engagements were held with the Partnership for Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), where gubernatorial candidates were present and the citizen’s 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 a focus on the 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 Sen. Uba Sani’s ‘Sustain blueprint’ and jointly agree on the next steps to strengthen the partnership.
Also, Mr. Yusuf Goje, representative of PICaN, disclosed that it was engagements and demand charter developed through its programmes that influenced some content of the Kaduna State Governor, Sen. Uba Sani’s ‘Sustain Agenda’.
Presenting a paper titled “Agenda Setting, Journey so Far”, Goje said that in the health sector, PICaN submitted 14 needs, and were four reflected in the blueprint (Sustain Agenda) of Governor Uba Sani.
He also said that for 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 ‘Suatain Agenda.
Speaking further, he predicted that the 2027 election in the state would feature more engagement 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 is becoming more aware,” he said.
He, therefore, said given the successes recorded, what they would do next is to track the sustainable 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.’
The objectives of the meeting are to: reflect on the agenda-setting activities during the 2023 gubernatorial elections a focus on the influence of citizens’ demand charter.
Facilitate dialogue with strategic political appointees to generate strategies to support and track the implementation of the SUSTAIN blueprint; and
Jointly agree on the next steps to strengthen the partnership.