By Ukpono Ukpong
The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has agreed to partner with leading social accountability initiative, Follow The Money on open government partnership in relation to constituency projects in Kaduna state valued at N6 billion in the 2020 and 2021 budgets.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, who is also co-chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), while receiving Follow The Money activists in his office in Abuja.
He said that the Ministry was receptive to working with accountability partners to track the effectiveness of project implementation at State and local levels where OGP can further be enhanced within grassroots communities.
CODE’s Programs Associate, Kingsley Agu, who led the team revealed that through a campaign to deepen citizens interest in government’s spendings and address accompanying corrupt practices, CODE in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation was setting the pace to initiate reforms that will promote government’s transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in government budgeting system.
“CODE seeks to partner with the Ministry of Budget & National Planning to further enhance service delivery and infrastructural development for grassroots communities particularly, through budget information-sharing and providing data on constituency projects.
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Through this, the Community Monitoring Teams can ensure projects are effectively completed.”
Agu added that collaboration with the Ministry was a strategic move to collectively combat corruption, illicit financial flows and track to completion, development projects in rural areas so people can have access to potable drinking water, standard healthcare and even primary education.
Assuring to partner with CODE, the Honourable Minister revealed that “The Eye Mark App”, a web and mobile-based application with geo-meta tags that is secured and easily accessible will be launched by the ministry to enable citizens update information about community projects in real-time, with the inclusion of photos to show the current status of the project.
CODE has now urged the release of budget details to enable citizens track public projects effectively.
The Organisation is committed to supporting government initiatives that provide the dividends of democracy to improve the lives of the people whom the government serves.