Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized one day Town Hall Meeting on understanding legislative oversight on maternal health with support from MacArthur Foundation. The meeting had in attendance about 20 participants including the Kaduna State’s legislators, legislative aides, women representatives, civil society and the media. The meeting featured Mr. Abel Adejor as the lead presenter and other discussants. After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- Inadequate access to legislature by the electorate to demand accountability on maternal health.
- Inadequate health facilities and lopsidedness in the distribution of existing ones across the State.
- Poor executive-legislative oversight on existing maternal health facilities has threatened effective delivery on maternal health in the State.
- Unwarranted bureaucracy in the civil service has altered administrative support towards institution of maternal health.
- Inadequate budgetary allocation to health sector and poor utilization of existing one to provide for sufficient facilities and effective service delivery on maternal health, especially in the grassroots.
- Inadequate individuals’ awareness to understand their roles and responsibility to demand accountability.
- Weak working relationship between the State’s legislators and legislative aides.
- Inadequate legislative-CSOs working collaboration and discouraging attitudes of the State’s legislators toward civil society.
- Well-informed citizens with enhanced interest to properly understand and effectively utilize the national constitution in engaging policy makers and hold them accountable to their mandates.
- Passage of enabling legislation by Kaduna State House of Assembly to provide for appreciative delivery on maternal health.
- Committed efforts by communities in collaboration with legislature and other policy makers to demand accountability on the provision sustainable maternal health facilities.
- Good governance, independent and effective judiciary, people-oriented legislature and evidence based CSOs to achieve transparency and accountability health sector.
- Adequate remuneration and rewards for civil servants to avert unnecessary administrative delay in delivery on maternal health.
- Prompt utilization of the existing resources to cater for viable facilities and training and retraining programmes for workable service delivery on maternal health.
- Continuous training and retraining programmes to promote proactive legislature and enhance legislative capacity to identify developmental related issues affecting various committees.
- Strengthening working relationship among legislators, legislative aides and civil society in compliance to international standards on legislative practice.
The participants expressed their appreciation to CISLAC for embarking on the town hall meeting and to Mac Arthur Foundation for providing the support to this all important program channeled towards promoting maternal and child health as well as increased knowledge amongst stakeholders. The State Government strongly supports the initiative of promoting maternal health. Participants expressed gratitude to the organizers noting that the engagement was revealing and indeed an opportunity to begin to create bigger conversation amongst players on maternal and child health in the Kaduna State. It was a consensus that a private bill be sponsored by civil society groups to facilitate the participation of civil society in legislative process.
Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC
Nongo M. Tessy
Mr. Usman Abdullahi Lapai
Daily Trust Newspaper