CODE empowers communities to track 47 projects worth $2.8m in Kaduna

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By Angela Atabo

Connected Development (CODE) said 47 projects worth $2.8million have been tracked by communities in Kaduna State through its Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) project.

Mr Hamzat Lawal ,Chief Executive Officer, CODE made this known at the closeout of the DeSPAAC project in Abuja, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

According to Lawal, the project is a testament to the power of collaboration and the impact a committed group of individuals can achieve in their communities.

He said that CODE leveraged on its FollowTheMoney model to embark on the DeSPAAC project, with a clear vision to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

Lawal said that the aim was to also ensure that government spending directly translated into meaningful development in Kaduna State.

He said, “We set out on a journey to engage with both citizens and government, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and a collaborative approach to governance.

“Since the project’s inception in 2021, we have made significant strides, tracking an impressive NGN 9,397,800,000.00 (USD 2.8 million) across 47 projects.

“We directly reached 30 communities with a total population of approximately 990,000 people from the three senatorial zones in Kaduna State.

“These numbers are more than just statistics; they represent lives touched, needs met, and a shared commitment to a better future.

“During our journey, we encountered a common challenge ;projects nominated by legislators often did not align with the actual needs of their constituents. ”

According to Lawal, in response, CODE developed the “constituency nomination and monitoring tool”.

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He explained that the model allowed constituents to actively participate in the project selection process, thus ensuring that the projects truly addressed their needs.

Lawal added that it has also enabled legislators to exercise more effective oversight functions over the projects.

“The impact of our collective efforts is best reflected in the tangible improvements experienced by communities.

“In Chikaji, Sabon Gari, Zaria, a community without a Primary Health Centre (PHC) and forced to share one with a neighboring community, now has a fully functional PHC worth N50,000,000.00.

“In Sabon Gari, a classroom block valued at N12,500,000.00 now stands, providing much-needed educational infrastructure,”he said.

Lawal said that another significant transformation tool place in Pala, Ikara Local Government Area, where a previously under-equipped Primary Health Centre now boasts access to over 80 medical equipment.

He said that they included hospital beds, mattresses, examination couches, syringes, needles, forceps jars, weighing scales, and diagnostic sets, greatly improving the community’s access to quality healthcare.

The CEO said that the organisation’s approach, the ‘Constituency Nomination and Monitoring Tool’, has empowered constituents to play a more active role in project selection and implementation.

Lawal said that CODE brought legislators and their constituents together, fostering collaboration, transparency, and accountability in the governance process.

“Today, we stand on the cliff of change, where the lessons we have learnt and the successes we have achieved can pave the way for a more transparent, accountable, and efficient governance system.

“I call on legislators, governments’ representatives, and citizens to seize this opportunity to forge innovative ideas, bridge gaps, and promote greater transparency in our journey towards enhanced governance transparency,”he said

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Lawal said that the DeSPAAC project was just the beginning,as CODE would continue to build on the foundations to actively engage citizens, legislators, and government representatives in a united effort to “strengthen the ties that bind us.”

He said ,”We all have a responsibility to ensure that the resources dedicated to various constituencies result in meaningful development are equitably distributed and efficiently managed.”

Rep. Hussaini Jallo, representing Igabi Federal constituency in the state, reiterated the commitment of his colleagues to sustainable development.

Jallo said that the developments in their constituencies would be in the areas of infrastructural developments like roads, electricity, education, health, water and security, among others.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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