The Executive Director (ED), Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi has called on residents, Media, Civil Society Organizations, and stakeholders to hold duty bearers accountable in order to ensure that the constituency project value chain in Kano State is transparent.
Dr. Zikirullahi who was represented by CHRICED Senior Program Officer, Omoniye Adewoye stated this while briefing newsmen on the State of Constituency Project in Kano tagged: “Promotion of Community- Driven Anti-Corruption Initiatives held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies on Tuesday.
The goal of the project is to reduce corruption in the delivery of constituency projects using a citizen activism approach.
He stated that the promotion of the community-driven anti-corruption Initiative project is intended to provide critical stakeholders and the public updates and strategies for tracking and monitoring constituency projects
According to him, the initiatives which started in 2021 has a project team cut across the 44 local government area of Kano State who consistently updates stakeholders, particularly Citizens in Communities on the project’s progress and outcomes that have been recorded during these interventions.
He disclosed that the impact of this project is resonating but the major challenge especially for those at the grassroots is ignorance, as they are not aware of the funds allocated for constituency projects in their community.
He said: “Notwithstanding, CHRICED through this initiative has been able to open its eyes to the need to ask questions and get involved in constituency projects, hence, the awareness level is high.
“We are Vigorously engaging citizens at the grassroots, reaching out to public office holders and other critical stakeholders through the medium of Community enlightenment workshops, accountability report back sessions, stakeholders’ consultative meetings, advocacies, and the dissemination of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials.
“These efforts have collectively promoted transparency, as well as increased citizen’s participation and inclusion in Kano State’s Constituency project planning and implementation process.”
Dr Zikirullah added that as part of the core programming strategy, CHRICED resolved to provide critical stakeholders with the necessary skills, information, and knowledge to hold public officials accountable for the use of public funds for consistent projects.
“To achieve this goal, CHRICED has held 8 Community enlightenment workshops with a total of 263 participants from the state’s 37 local government areas in attendance.
“Since the start of this project, CHRICED has held two training workshops for approximately 70 Kano State Media practitioners and Civil Society organizations to help boost their capacity for investigating, tracking, and reporting public expenditures on constituency projects in the state.”
He further explained that some Community- Based Organizations that participated in CHRICED’s community enlightenment workshops and training programs have taken the bold step to invoke the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) in order to demand accountability from Kano State Government regarding government expenditure on constituency project in their communities.
“Also, the capacity of selected journalists in investigating and reporting on constituency project expenditure has been enhanced as a result of CHRICED’s training and skill development workshops.
“In accordance with one of the project’s objectives of amplifying community voices against corruption, CHRICED has been broadcasting a weekly radio awareness program on Arewa Radio from 8- 9 am every Thursday in order to provide a forum for local community members to speak out, demand accountability and discuss the status of constituent projects in their communities.
“CHRICED is steadfast in enlightening citizens to remain undaunted in the struggle to ensure accountability in the use of resources, especially that which relates to those at the grassroots levels.
“As we continue to engage these categories of stakeholders through advocacy and dialogue, we hope to secure their- buy-in and support to overcome obstacles.”
The ED revealed that CHRICED has been engaging key government Stakeholders such as legislators, relevant ministries, Agencies, and departments as well as corruption agencies to support laudable goals of increasing transparency and accountability in the service delivery process for constituency projects in the state.