By Philip Yatai
An NGO, Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) has advocated the use of Community Development Charter (CDC) in Kaduna State annual budget.
It also revealed that it has taken steps to strengthen the processes of ensuring these were captured because of its relevance to the needs of the people.
The coalition made this known in a communiqué issued in Kaduna on Thursday, at the end of a virtual stakeholders’ engagement to celebrate the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Week 2021.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CDC is a written document containing the development needs of a community listed in order of priority.
The document is presented to the government as an official request of the community’s development needs.
The engagement was organised in collaboration with the local government CDC Champions from the state’s three Senatorial Districts.
The meeting was to generate advocacy issues to help accelerate the inclusion of the CDC into the state budget process.
The meeting was also organised to share experience and lessons learnt among the CDC Champions and strategize on how to improve CDC influence in local government budgets.
The coalition noted that in the past three years, the CDC had been informing and influencing the local government budget.
It, however, argued that the budget performance with respect to CDC specific projects had remained very low.
It explained that the CDC prioritised projects were not captured in some LGAs, while projects not prioritised by the communities were executed.
It added that in spite of being part of the Commitment One of the OGP State Action Plan, 2018-2020, there was no public evidence that the CDC has begun to inform and influence the state budget.
The coalition said that the CSOs and development partners have agreed to strengthen the capacity of local government and wards’ CDC Champions, to engage and influence the budget processes.
It also said that CSOs would support the CDC Champions to engage the Planning and Budget Commission, Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Kaduna State House of Assembly and Community and Social Development Agency, among other state actors.
This, according to the coalition, would help in mobilising relevant stakeholders to support the push for the inclusion of the CDC in the state budget.
“The CDC Champions will also advocate for the prioritisation and execution of human capital development and social protection interventions in the local government budgets.
“They will equally engage the Local Government Councils and their budget offices to ensure early commencement of the CDC process immediately the budget call circular is released,” the coalition said.(NAN)