MDGs: CISLAC/UNMC Communiqué Issued at the End of a Capacity Building Workshop for CSOs, CBOs and FBOs on Budget Tracking on MDGs Allocations Held at the Ni’ma Guest Palace, Kano State on 3rd June 2010
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) organized a One Day Capacity Building Workshop for CSOs, CBOs and FBOs on Budget Tracking on MDGs Allocation. The workshop was held at the Ni’ma Guest Palace Hotel, Nasarawa Kano State on 3rd June 2010. The meeting had 40 participants comprising a broad range of Civil Society Organisations and the media from Kano, Jigawa, Abuja, Kaduna and Katsina States respectively.
The workshop had the key objectives of building capacity on enhanced participation of CSOs in monitoring, tracking MDGs entitlement and provides a platform for building a mass movement for achieving the MDGs. Three key papers were delivered on ‘An Introduction to the Budget and the Budget Process: Entry Point for Civil Society’, ‘Strengthening Civil Society Capacity on Tracking and Evaluating MDGs Allocations’ and ‘CGS/MDGs Project in Kano State Funded from the Debt Relief Gain’
The workshop provided the CSOs firsthand information budget and its processes and areas of intervention to engender popular participation, CGS/MDGs intervention in the state, benchmarks for measuring progress towards achieving the MDGs and an opportunity for participants to network for joint action.
The workshop was of a very participatory nature and at the end of the deliberations, the following were the key observations and recommendations;
- The Budget process continues to exclude a majority of the Nigerian people which negates the principle of participation as a basic tenet of democracy
- The non-passage of the Freedom of Information Bill continues to hinder access to official information undermining the ability of the Nigerian people to monitor and track the MDGs interventions and hold the government accountable.
- The non participation of the people in the budgetary process is a consequence of defective institutional and structural systems which serves to exclude the people from governance process and not entirely a lack of knowledge on the processes by the people
- There is a gross negation of the constitutional provisions guiding the budgeting process at the state and local government levels.
- There is an absence of fiscal federalism which guarantees the autonomy of LGAs and the ability of that tier of government to meet its development obligations to the people and this have grave consequences for the attainment of the MDGs
- There is a low capacity and information necessary for CSOs at the state levels to engage the MDGs monitoring effectively
- CSOs engagement on the monitoring and tracking of the budget as well as other interventions in the recent past have often been necessitated on donor priorities which often do not speak to the needs of the people and does not build the culture of sustainability which are necessary ingredients for building a mass movement.
- Civil society should as a matter of urgency advocate towards institutionalization of the budgetary process in a structured manner that engenders popular participation
- Civil Society continues to call on the legislature to consider the passage of the FOI Bill into law as this remains the greatest impediment to transparency and accountability in governance and its processes
- Civil Society should continue to advocate for true federalism as this takes governance and development closer to the people. This ensures the participation of the people in development and increasing the possibilities of meeting the targets of the MDGs
- CSOs should begin to rethink the concept of organizing and programming towards facilitating the emergence of social movements which build sustainability structures
- CSOs in the state should endeavor to work as a collective in order to amplify and consolidate on its strengths, while leveraging its weaknesses as individual organisations in mobilizing communities and a broader range of stakeholders
- There is a need for increased capacity building for CSOs on engaging the MDGs at the state level.
- The participants called on CISLAC and United Nations Millennium Campaign to organize more of this training in other parts of the country.
Y. Z. YA’U
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
AUWAL IBRAHIM MUSA (RAFSANJANI)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC),