COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP ON FISCAL PROCESSES AND INCLUSIVE BUDGET FOR SELECTED CSOS IN RIVERS, DELTA, ENUGU AND LAGOS STATE, ORGANIZED BY NIGER DELTA BUDGET MONITORING GROUP (NDEBUMOG), AT EEMJM HOTELS AND SUITES, UYO, AKWA IBOM ON 14TH AND 15TH NOVEMBER, 2016.

PREAMBLE:

A two-day training workshop on Fiscal Processes and Inclusive Budget for Selected CSOs in Rivers, Delta, Enugu and Lagos State, was organized by Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) with support from OXFAM in Nigeria on 14th and 15th November, 2016 at EEMJM Hotels and Suites, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. It was part of the Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) of Financing for Development, being implemented in Nigeria by Oxfam, through its partners. The training was aimed at building the capacity and knowledge of CSOs on fiscal processes and inclusive budget to enable them participate in budget monitoring and tracking processes. 

Participants were drawn among NDEBUMOG’s stakeholders, partners, Civil Society Organizations from targeted States of Rivers, Delta, Enugu and Lagos State, as well as the media. A representative of Oxfam was also present at the workshop.

Issues/Observations:

Following deliberations on issues of budgeting and fiscal processes in Nigeria, either; at the Federal, States and Local Government Areas, the participants were to observed as follows:

*That budgeting processes in Nigeria, still exclude citizens and CSOs, in spite of constitutional provisions for wide consultations and public hearings, which should be part of budget processes. Needs assessments are not carried out at the communities to determine their actual needs.

*We observe that budget processes and monitoring capacity is low among government agencies, resulting to inappropriate capturing of interests and needs of all categories of citizens, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable groups, who are hardly captured in Nigeria’s budget processes; resulting in continued perpetuation of the poverty circle.

*That measuring budget performance across the targeted states is difficult, leading to abandonment of projects, which is rampant and worrisome, due partly to, lack of continuity in government and non-consultation with relevant stakeholders;

*Budget is an Appropriation Act, when passed and signed, which makes it a public document. However, it is not easily accessible by the public. Therefore, budget document, should be published in the state governments’ website annually and consistently updated along with the releases and implementation plans.

*That the pattern of government expenditure over the years has concentrated wealth in the hands of few individuals, making the gap between the have and the have not very wide, which should be closed through inclusive budget at all levels.

*That although there are specialized ministries and departments for women affairs and social welfare, such ministry lacks the necessary backing to implement enormous social development needs of Nigeria; Consequently, issues of neglect and marginalization of women and other vulnerable groups have continued to rear their ugly heads;

* There are glaring evidence of lack of sincerity in budget planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and tracking at the Federal, as well as, States and LGA levels.

Civil Society frowns at the unresponsiveness of government to suggestions, recommendations and participation to achieve inclusive budget over the years.

RECOMMENDATIONS/RESOLUTIONS

From the foregoing, the participants hereby, recommend and resolve as follows:

*All MDAs should adopt the International Accounting Standard in budgeting;

*Agencies with monitoring roles should synergize with CSOs and communities in monitoring of projects implementation.

*Since budget document is a law, violation of the contents of the budget should attract serious sanctions. Budget performance should be 100 percent. Lawmakers should make laws to criminalise budget indiscipline to enhance transparency and accountability in governance.

*The National Assembly should accelerate and pass amendment for local government autonomy which shall strengthen accountability at LGA.

*CSOs should step up campaigns, partnerships and collaborations for gender mainstreaming of vulnerable groups within the fiscal space.

*Budget and fiscal frameworks at all levels should be in tandem with international best practices.

*It is necessary to enhance capacity of all stakeholders and the media that are involved in the budget and fiscal process for effective results.

*CSOs and communities should develop deeper interest in budget work and fiscal processes for collective communal good.

CONCLUSION: 

Participants congratulate NDEBUMOG and OXFAM for the opportunity to enhance their capacity on fiscal processes. They requested that the training should be regular, rather than a one-off event occasionally.

Signed:

Styvn Obodoekwe

Centre for Environmental Human rights for Development

Rivers State

 Affiong Linus John

Shadow Budget Women Group

Oron

 Eze Faith Ogodukwu Christian

Center for Community Development (3C4D)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Enugu State

 Regina Fabian

Rural Health and Women Development

(Shadow Budget Women Group)

IkotEkpene

Felicia Ita Effiong

Shadow Budget Women Group

IkotEkpene

Olajumoke Idowu

Nigerian Network of Non-GovernmentalOrganisations

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Lagos State


 

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY TRAINING FOR GOVERNMENT MDAS ON RESOURCE MOBILIZATION, RESPONSIVE FISCAL GOVERNANCE AND PARTICIPATORY BUDGET PROCESS FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY AT THE SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL

ORGANISED BY

NIGER DELTA BUDGET MONITORING GROUP (NDEBUMOG)

AT

NIKE LAKE RESORT ENUGU, ENUGU STATE

FROM

NOVEMBER 28 TO DECEMBER 01, 2016

Preamble:

The two-day training for Government MDAs on Resource Mobilization, Responsive Fiscal Governance and Participatory Budget Process for Effective Service Delivery at the Sub-National Level attracted stakeholders under the Oxfam Financing for Development (F4D) Strategic Partnership, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Oxfam Partners including Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group, Actionaid, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, KEBETKACHE Women Development and Resource Centre, and BudgIT under the Oxfam F4D Implementing states of Enugu, Rivers, Delta, and Lagos as well as the FCT, Abuja. The training was declared open by His Excellency, The Enugu State Governor, who was represented by Her Excellency, The Deputy Governor, Mrs. Celicia Ezeilo; In attendance were also the Secretary to the Enugu State Government Elder Dr. G.O.C Ajah (mni) who gave a welcome remark and also a good number of commissions from various Ministries in Enugu State. A representative of Oxfam Country Director, Mrs. Evelyn Mere Deputy Country Director, gave the opening remarks and training objectives.

Following the registration of participants, the Executive Director of NDEBUMOG, Dr George-Hill Anthony gave a presentation on Connecting the SDGs by Sub-National Governments: Perspectives on Enugu State as part of the official opening ceremony. 

We,the 106 participants from Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) from Enugu, Delta, Lagos and Rivers States met in the training workshop organized by Oxfam Novib in conjunction with the Enugu State Government and other partners learnt and brainstormed on how to address the current challenges of resource mobilization, responsive fiscal governance and participatory budget process for effective service delivery at the subnational level.

Observations:

Participants at the workshop observed that:

1. This workshop is part of Oxfam’s Strategic Partnership Program – Financing for Development (F4DN-SP).

2. The delivery format of the workshop included ten (10) lead presentations followed by exhaustive discussions by the participants. The following lead presentations were made: a) Connecting the SDGs by Subnational Governments: Perspectives on Enugu State; b) Transformative Leadership as a Mechanism for Effective Service Delivery; c) Resource Mobilization: Non-Oil Economy for States in Nigeria; d) Intergovernmental Collaboration and Partnerships for Increased Resources Window for Development; e) Community Participation in PFEM: Creating Windows for Communities through Fiscal Inclusion at the States and LGs Level; f) Fiscal Governance and Service Delivery at Subnational Level: The Role of MDAs at the State Level; g) Making State Budgets Participatory and People-Centred; h) Taxation and Financing of the SDGs at the Subnational Level; i) Gender Responsive Budgeting; and j) Inequality in Nigeria.

Following the discussions and interactions, therefore, we the participants at the plenary adopt the following resolutions:

1. Subnational governments should, as a matter of urgency, work out strategies for improving service delivery by transforming its internal processes and providing exemplary leadership to the people.

2. We recognize that many subnational governments are already implementing many innovative governance reforms, for instance the Enugu State Visit Every Community (VEC) programme which is a needs assessment programme for giving voice to community development needs. However, there is the need to legitimize such frameworks by Acts of the Houses of Assembly in order to ensure sustainability.

3. Subnational governments in collaboration with communities and CSOs should evolve effective and institutionalized monitoring and evaluation frameworks/strategies for monitoring and/or evaluating the utilization of government resources. Subnational budgets should be made participatory, people-centred and gender-responsive (women, children, youth and the vulnerable).

4. Subnational governments should adopt best practices in promoting transparency and accountability in governance. Citizens and non-citizens need to demand that the budget and other fiscal documents be made open and posted at the public domain for easy monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes. Governments should optimize the potentials of ICTs in this regard.

5. We encourage subnational governments to engage in intergovernmental collaboration, especially at the regional level, to provide a solid platform to overcome the current squeeze occasioned by sharp drop in revenue. Joint projects/programmes by subnational governments can be designed to scale up investments to cover more communities as well as ensuring increased benefits to the citizens.

6. Subnational governments should develop smart strategies for formalizing the informal sector, particularly the non-oil sector. Governments need to provide active support to both SMEs and large industries, especially in the area of value chain development, in order to improve revenue mobilization and fiscal independence.

7. Subnational governments should put systems and strategies in place to ensure that our taxes work for the people, especially the poor. This will act as an incentive against tax avoidance. We seek tax reforms that promote an ICT database system, fair representation, transparency and progressive tax laws, policies and practices (e.g. tax to service agreements) capable of addressing poverty and inequality. Lagos State leadership in this respect is highly recognized and recommended for other states.

8. Finally, we are grateful to the training workshop funders/organizers and presenters and the staff and management of the Nike Lake Resort Hotel for their wonderful hospitality. 

 

Celestine Okwudili Odo

Programme Coordinator, Governance

Oxfam in Nigeria

Uche F. Nnadi

Senior Special Assistant to Enugu State Governor,

Domestic and Foreign Aid.

 

 


COMMUNIQUE ON THE NIGER DELTA BUDGET MONITORING GROUP TOWN  HALL MEETING FOR ASABA CLUSTER HELD ON SATURDAY, 23RD MAY, 2015, AT  CHAD-EF HOTEL, ASABA, DELTA STATE

INTRODUCTION

The Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (Regional Accountability Centre) held an Inclusive Budget

Town Hall Meeting in Asaba for Asaba Cluster Stakeholders on Saturday, 23 May, 2015, at CHAD-EF

Hotel, Asaba, Delta State. The Town Hall Meeting was supported by Oxfam in Nigeria.

At the end of the Town Hall Meeting, we, the participants observed as follows:

(i) Citizens have poor knowledge of the concept of state budget.

(ii) Absence of citizens' participation in budgetary processes needs to be bridged by all tiers of

government.

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A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP ON DEEPENING EXPENDITURE LINE –TRACKING FOR STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE NIGER DELTA, ORGANISED BY THE NIGER DELTA BUDGET MONITORING GROUP (NDEBUMOG), FOR COMMUNITIES AND STAFF OF STATE ASSEMBLIES, AT MONTY SUITES, CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE, November 11th  - 14th, 2014.

Participants at a 2-day workshop on Deepening Expenditure Line-Tracking for States and Local Governments in the Niger Delta, made up of participants from Communities, Staff of State Houses of Assembly and resource persons, organized by the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG), held at Monty Suites, Calabar, Cross River State, from 11th -14th November 2014, resolved on certain interventions in the budgetary process and implementation as follows:

 

OBSERVATIONS:

Further to the realization that:

  • Budget monitoring and evaluation is a critical component of sustainable development in the Niger Delta States; Law makers in the Niger Delta region should widen their capacity for making budgets for the larger interest of the people There is evident lack of sincerity in budget planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and tracking of public expenditures across the States in the Niger Delta Region.
  • There is lack of community content and stakeholders involvement in the budgetary processes in most States of the Niger Delta, which has led to duplications and failed projects in the region
  • That budget estimates and provisions for goods and services  in the region have grown annually without commensurate impact on service delivery and value for money
  • Budgetary processes and implementation in most States are shrouded in secrecy, non-participatory, non- transparent and not people centered.  Technical knowledge and stakeholders capacity required to engage budgetary processes, monitor and evaluate projects for effective results are also in short supply
  • Poor understanding of legal provisions to protect individuals and public officers from prosecution, such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), limits the degree of official information in the public domain
  • The monitoring and evaluation of government activities is a collective enterprise that requires the collaboration of all stakeholders, including the civil society and the media for better results
  • Gender mainstreaming in budget conceptualization, planning, implementation and evaluation in government is either inadequate or non-existent
  • Effective service delivery is hampered by the perception of helplessness of the citizenry in tracking public goods and services. Political interference and parochial interest of public officers in budget planning and implementation has also worsened service delivery
  • The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other interventionist agencies have failed in their mandates and therefore requires an amendment of the law to include community clusters and their representatives in the allocation and implementation of projects
  • Some provisions of the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Laws in some states have guaranteed “impunity” for some States in the region which has created room for community and civil society exclusion thus weakening public expenditure tracking for these States.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

To the Government:

1.      States and Local Governments in the Niger Delta region should ensure gender sensitivity in addressing all segments of society in their planning, budgeting and  implementation.

2.    Conscious efforts should be made to implement the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Laws to allow for ease and effective tracking of public goods  and services. The relevant State institutions should be mandated to enlighten the public on the provisions of these Laws.

 

3.    Budgeting should be made more transparent and participatory. All stakeholders should be involved in contributing to the planning and formulation of the budget  to  remove the veil of secrecy and for ease of monitoring performance, duplication, etc.

4.    Political interference in budgeting has whittled down efficiency and value for money and affected timely delivery of projects.  Relevant organs of government  should interrogate the manner of project inclusion in States’ annual budgets to guarantee participation of communities, transparency and value for money.

5.     Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies should ensure the involvement of CSOs in their budget sector planning to ensure the outcome is broad based  and  inclusive.

TO STATE ASSEMBLIES:

Leadership of the State Assemblies in the Niger Delta should:

1.      Build capacity of its workforce to understand the intricacies of making laws for the purpose of addressing governance gaps in community development.

2.    Ensure public participation in the formulation, planning and passage of its budgets for mass appeal.

3.    Create platforms for CSOs in the monitoring and evaluation of budgets and for tracking of public expenditure to ensure value for money.

4.    The National Assembly Budget and Research Office should be replicated by the State Assemblies for enhanced legislative research.

5.     State Houses of Assembly should establish a CSO/Legislative liaison office in line with the existing tradition of the National Assembly with a view to building  synergy and strengthening its bond with the people

 

TO COMMUNITIES:

1.      Communities should deepen monitoring and evaluation of public expenditure using monitoring and evaluation tools to track community and sector based  participation in project delivery.

2.    Community component in budget implementation and tracking should be independent of government for purposes of integrity and objectivity.

3.    There is need for building of Community capacity for effective engagement and tracking of public expenditure  to meet the wider expectations of the people.

4.    Communities should consciously deepen their understanding of people-centred laws such as the Public Procurement and Fiscal Responsibility Laws to keep public  officials in check. This will guide against corruption, lack of transparent and accountable leadership and guarantee effective delivery of projects.

  Participants at the workshop commended NDEBUMOG for its proper organization of the workshop and expressed appreciation to Oxfam Novib for  their support  in  deepening the culture of transparency in the region.

 

Signed on behalf of the participants:

1.      Patterson Ogon - Agudama Epie, Bayelsa State

2.    Jonah Uchenna - CDC. Okehi Etche, Rivers State

3.    Omesurum Iheanyi - Youth Leader,Okehi Etche, Rivers States

4.    Anthony Dappa - Opobo/Nkoro LGA, Rivers State

5.     Donald Alari - Ekeremor Town, Bayelsa State

6.    Edet Raymond - Ndon Ebom Town, Akwa Ibom State

7.     Stella Iyeh - Oko Ogbebe Community, Delta State

 


 

 

A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP ON “ENHANCING CAPACITY OF STAKEHOLDERS IN FISCAL PROCESSES OF GOVERNMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY” AS PART OF THE DEEPENING EXPENDITURE LINE-TRACKING FOR STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE NIGER DELTA (DELT4SLOG III) PROGRAMME

ORGANISED BY

NIGER DELTA BUDGET MONITORING GROUP (NDEBUMOG)

FOR ITS PARTNERS, CIVIL SOCIETIES AND THE MEDIA

AT

MONTY SUITES, CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE

BETWEEN

4th AND 7th NOVEMBER, 2014

PREAMBLE:

The two-day budget workshop titled “Enhancing Capacity of Stakeholders in Fiscal Processes of Government for Democratic Accountability” attracted stakeholders from NDEBUMOG partners, Civil Society Organizations, the Media from four states across the Niger Delta (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers). A representative of Oxfam (Development Partner), Mr. Celestine Okwudili Odo was also present at the workshop.

Following the registration of participants and introduction of participants, the Executive Director of NDEBUMOG, Mr George-Hill Anthony gave the opening remarks. Goodwill message from Oxfam was delivered by Celestine Okwudili Odo.

 

The impact assessment of the previous editions of DELT4SLOG programme (I and II) was captured by Stories of Change which were presented by some participants who have been involved in previous DELT4SLOG workshops and activities.

Papers presented at the workshop included: (1) Real-Time Procurement Monitoring: Processes and Procedures at Bridging Systemic Gaps and Salvaging Nigeria against Procurement Corruption (2) Governance and Democratic Accountability: Bridging the Gap of Suspicion between Government and Civil Society (3) The Gender Question in the Budget Process: Using DELT4SLOG III Desk Review as a deflector in Advocating for Best Practices (4) Civil Society Capacity in Public Finance Expenditure Monitoring: Overcoming the Challenges and Way Forward  and (5) Fiscal Allocations to the Niger Delta: The Figures and You.

Following the presentations of the first day, participants were divided into four groups (according to the focal states i.e. Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers) and tasked with identifying projects from the Desk Review which are relevant to them.

OBSERVATIONS

Participants at the workshop observed that:

1. There is an inadequate capacity of CSOs involved in Fiscal Processes in engaging the government in budget monitoring, procurement and accountability  processes.

2. Not many CSOs are involved in Fiscal Processes in Nigeria.

3. Lack of community and CSO inclusion in Budget Processes.

4. Governments at all levels do not make Budget performance publics.

5. Akwa-Ibom is the only State in the Niger-Delta Region without the Public Procurement Law; even the states that have do not enforce the law for the common  good of the masses.

6. Even with the huge allocation released to Niger Delta States and LGAs between the years 2007 and 2011; development strides are not commensurate with the  funds allocated to them from the federation account. For instance:

Akwa-Ibom State = N92, 672, 927, 257 (2007-2011); and LGAs = N201, 287, 051, 251.57

Bayelsa State = N640, 654,030, 286; and LGAs = 65, 091, 999, 528.45

Cross River State = N217, 356, 652, 824; and LGAs = 127,412, 866, 870.37

Delta State = N771, 796, 175, 604; and LGAs= 171, 071, 437, 778.87

Edo State = N217, 111, 374, 171; and LGAs = 129, 116, 821, 412.63

Rivers State = N1, 172, 124, 928, 694; and LGAs = 181, 754, 166, 783.36

7. That the Budget and the budgetary processes are not gender-sensitive and people-centered.

8. State Governments are having overriding control over funds meant for Local Governments.

9. Not enough searchlights have been beamed by the CSOs (media inclusive) on IGR in the states and LGAs.

10. Information on IGR is shrouded in secrecy and not made open to the public by the various states and LGAs.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Having taken the above into consideration, participants therefore recommend the following;

1. States in the region should create space for participatory democracy through inclusion of communities and civil society in the fiscal processes.

2. States having fiscal laws should not just have them for fancy, but should test -run these laws and allow them to work.

3. Any of the states in the region yet to have a Fiscal Responsibility Act, Public Procurement Act e.t.c, should do so without further delay so that people can access  details of projects and items listed for procurement.

4. States in the region should publish their budget implementation report vis- a- vis inflow-and-outflow account, including making audited reports of their state  available to citizens for the sake of transparency.

5. The NDDC Act needs urgent amendment to create room for catchment, clustering or representatives into the board nominated by communities as against what  obtains at the moment, where nominations into the board are from politicians, as the NDDC has become an institution for the elites, for political patronage.

6. Members of the Civil Society and the Media should engage government all levels in fiscal process to ensure transparency, fiscal probity and value for money.

7. Local and State Governments should make public, the income and expenditure profile of their IGR to enable the people keep a track of government’s  comprehensive revenue base.

8. CSOs and communities should improve their technical capacity, to effectively engage government and their MDAs on pro-poor policies.

9. CSOs should canvass for Gender sensitiveness and balance in the budgetary process so that more would be achieved in the area of budget monitoring and  evaluation to keep the government in check.

CONCLUSION:

Participants congratulated OXFAM and NDEBUMOG for the opportunity to enhance their capacity in fiscal processes.

Signed

1. Ofonime Umanah – Chairman – Todays News Now (TNN)

2. Mrs Iniobong Frank – Member – Women United for Economic Empowerment

3. Torki Dauseye – Member – Bayelsa State Non-Governmental Organization Forum (BANGOF)

4. Steve Obodokwe – Member – Centre for Environment Human Right and Development (CEHRD)

5. Austen Yong – Member – Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), South-South.

6. Miracle Chiedozie Onyeukwu – Secretary – Karachi Rural-Urban Development Initiative

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A 2 DAY TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PUBLIC FINANCE EXPENDITURE AND MONITORING & EVALUATION ORGANISED BY THE KEBETKACHE WOMEN DEVELOPMENT & RESOURCE CENTRE ON THE 11TH AND 12TH OF JULY, 2013,YENAGOA, BAYELSA STATE

PREAMBLE

Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre held a Two Day Training Workshop on Public Finance Expenditure and Budget Monitoring at the HOIL Suites & Resort, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on the 11th and 12th of July, 2013. The workshop was attended by a cross section of women and men, who have earlier been trained in June 2012, as Democracy Monitors.  The training, which was funded by Oxfam Novib, seeks to impact knowledge and information on the women, as well as other community members on the concept of budgeting, budget tracking & fiscal methodology of government, public finance expenditure monitoring, public procurement & bidding processes of government. Other aspect of the training covered: gender sensitive budgeting, and introduction to monitoring and evaluation to promote good governance.

There were over 30 participants at the training, drawn from community activists, representatives of communities, women groups, community development associations, women leaders, civil society organizations- representing special interests of youths, children, women and physically challenged.

A team of Resource Persons from the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) facilitated the workshop.

OBSERVATIONS

The participants observed as follows:

1. Community members lack knowledge and information on government budget processes.

2. Government budget processes lack inclusion, openness and synergy.

3. Government budgets are not linked to people’s needs, because budget processes are not inclusive.

4. The budget of states and local government are not gender sensitive.

5. People are not sensitive to issues of public expenditure because there is glaring lack of ownership consciousness.

6. People have difficulty in accessing information on government spending on projects and programmes.

7. Personal interests come into play as government officials only favour development projects that favour their selfish interest.

8. Some legislators who ought to protect constituency interest do not play their oversight functions because of personal involvement.

9. At the Executive level, adequate monitoring of projects is missing.

 

RESOLUTION

The participants resolved as follows:

1. Citizens should make conscious efforts to get information about government budgeting processes and participate in the process.

2. Community members must be involved on monitoring government projects.

3. Public Procurement Act should be amended to provide for the civil society to monitor the entire process rather than the current observer status granted CSOs in PPA 2007.

4. Government should ensure that budget addresses the actual needs of the people, so that projects will impact on the people positively.

5. Government at all level must ensure that budgets are gender sensitive and gender responsive. Government budgets should address maternal mortality issues, education of women, and poverty issues.

6. Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) such as the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Basin Development Authority and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should make their budget documents accessible to the public, especially community development committees, women groups and other interested parties in line with the Freedom of Information Act.

7. Civil society organizations such as Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre and the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) should continue to empower community members on good governance processes, including accountability.

8. Government officials should promote the people’s interests above personal interests.

9. Legislators should perform their oversight functions to ensure that budget processes impacts positively on the lives of the people; rather than promote fiscal atrocities and impunity.

10. In advocating for public accountability, civil society organizations must exhibit a high degree of integrity.

CONCLUSION

The participants thanked Oxfam Novib for their financial support and appeal to them to continue supporting activities that promote women participation in governance within the Niger Delta. The participants also thanked Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre for organizing the workshop and appreciated the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) for their efficient facilitation and good-impact knowledge on government budget processes.

 

Issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, this 12th day of July, 2013

 

Signed

Wadum Wolisi         –  Kolo Creek Development Foundation

Ruth Atoro               –  Ogbia Adionin Social Club

Joyce  Olulu            –  Ogbia Women for Change

 


 A COMMUNIQUÉ REACHED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY BUDGET TRACKING ENHANCEMENT TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR COMMUNITY EXECUTIVES AND REPRESENTATIVES.

 

PREAMBLE:

A two-day workshop on Deepening Expenditure Line Tracking for States and Local Governments in the Niger Delta (DELT4SLOG II) was organized by the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) with support from Oxfam Novib, at Carlcon Hotels Limited Calabar, on the 20th – 21st June, 2013. Over thirty participants were in attendance, drawn from communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom.

Technical sessions which were led by experts in budget, gender advocacy, monitoring and evaluation and public finance expenditure management, had the main aim of enhancing the capacity of community stakeholders to track budgets and fiscal governance in their respective communities.

Papers were presented on the following subjects:

•    Introduction to the Concept of Budget Tracking and Fiscal Methodologies of Government

•    Public Finance Expenditure Monitoring: The Complications, Intrigues and Advocacy, Methodology and Best Practice

•    Public Procurement and Bidding Process of Government: Experience Sharing and Way Forward

•    Gender Sensitive Budgeting: the Gaps, Realities and Enveloping for Best Practices in Nigeria.

•    An Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation for Community Leaders.

OBSERVATIONS

Participants at the workshop observed that:

1.    The knowledge base of communities on the budgeting process is very low.

2.    Budget processes are not community inclusive and participatory.

3.    The federal and state ministries of information have not effectively disseminated information on budgets and the budgeting process, to the communities

4.    The planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of budgetary processes in the Niger Delta States is shrouded in secrecy and characterized by bloated figures.

5.    The planning, research and statistics (PRS) departments of MDAs do not have synergy with communities in the Niger Delta on budgeting processes.

6.    The budgets of states and local governments in the Niger Delta are neither gender sensitive nor gender responsive.

7.    A position where the recurrent expenditure of most sectors at the federal level far outweighs capital expenditure does not aid our quest for sustainable development.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations were made:

1.    Governments (Federal, State and Local), civil society organizations and development partners should scale up efforts to disseminate information on best practices of budgeting and enhancing the capacity of community stakeholders.

2.    The budgeting process should be participatory and inclusive. The needs assessment of the community should be captured in the budget formation stage.

3.    Transparency and accountability should be introduced to the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of budgetary processes in the Niger Delta states.

4.    The budgets of states and local governments in the Niger Delta should be gender friendly.

5.    Independent monitoring and evaluation should be introduced to the budgeting process within the MDAs.

6.    The various intervention agencies involved in the development of the Niger Delta should harmonize their interventions to avoid duplication of projects (within the region) in the formation of budgets.

7.    That the freedom of information act should be utilized in budget tracking by community stakeholders.

8.    We call for a review of the procurement template to align with the interest of the communities.

9.    That budget document should not be a secret document rather should be available for public scrutiny and monitoring.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the workshop, the participants appreciated and thanked the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group and Oxfam Novib for the training, while looking forward to other opportunities for capacity building.

SIGNED BY

Mrs. Eno- Obong Ekere (Esit Eket Community, Akwa Ibom State)

Moses Oguara (Nembe Bassambiri Community, Bayelsa State)

Augustine Onoriede (Otovwodo Community, Delta State)

George-Hill Anthony (Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group)


 

 COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR DEMOCRACY MONITORS IN AKWA IBOM STATE.

PREAMBLE

At the instance of the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, a 2 day training workshop on Public Finance Expenditure and Budget Monitoring was held at the Monty Suites, Uyo on the 13th and 14th of June, 2013. The workshop was attended by a cross section of women, who have earlier been trained as democracy monitors from the three senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom State, comprising: Eket, Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts.  The training, which was funded by Oxfam Novib, seeks to impact knowledge on the women on budget monitoring and evaluation, as well as promote the participation of women in governance.

Over 40 participants, including representatives of community women groups, several other women leaders and civil society organizations spread across special thematic interests covering: youths, children, grassroots women and women leaders of ethnic nationalities in Akwa Ibom State attended the training.

A team of resource persons from the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG Regional Accountability Centre) facilitated the training.

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A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY BUDGET TRACKING ENHANCEMENT TRAINING WORKSHOP.

PREAMBLE:

The two-day budget enhancement training workshop attracted stakeholders from NDEBUMOG partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Media and a Representative of the Cross River State Government. Papers presented at the workshop included: (1) Gender Sensitive Budgeting: The Gaps, Realities and Way Forward, (2) Public Procurement and Bidding Process of Government: Experience Sharing and Way Forward, (3) Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation, (4) Public Finance Expenditure Monitoring

The Complications, Intrigues and Advocacy for Best Practice, and (5) Introduction to Budget Tracking and Fiscal Methodologies of Government. Participants were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State, being States who are beneficiaries to the “ Deepening Expenditure Line Tracking for States and Local Governments in the Niger Delta (DELT4SLOG II)”, project, currently being implemented by the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG), with the support of Oxfam Novib.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on Budget Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Peter Oti, who declared the workshop open, outlined some of the successes recorded by the state government.

While participants commended the Cross River State Government for institutionalizing the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and participatory budget performance appraisal in the state, they observed that there is still room for improvement and expansion of scope.

OBSERVATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

Participants at the workshop observed that:

1. Some States in the Niger Delta do not have a Public Procurement and Fiscal Responsibility Laws; while others that have the law, do not have Civil  Society component to enhance monitoring and evaluation.

2.  Budgets, as presently formulated and implemented, across some states in the Niger Delta, are not people-centered.

3. Budget monitoring and evaluation is critical to development. Governments in the region (Niger Delta) should put in place a structure in all the  MDAs, which is to involve relevant stakeholders within the Budget framework.

4. The Civil Society, Media and other relevant stakeholders should step-up efforts towards carrying out oversight functions on budget monitoring and  evaluation.

5. There is inadequate knowledge of the (pro-poor) Budget Processes among the Lawmakers across the States in the Niger Delta.

6. There is dearth of technical capacity and knowledge amongst CSOs, CBOs and the private sector, with regards to engagement with the budgetary  process.

7. The budget process (in states across the Niger Delta) is shrouded in secrecy, and is neither transparent nor participatory.

8.  There is little awareness among the citizenry, on the budgetary process and government programmes.

9. There is lack of sincerity in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the budgetary process (in states across the region).

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

To the Government:

1. It is not enough for Governments in the region to domesticate the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Law; they should ensure effective implementation of the law.

2. The Budget Office across the States in region, in collaboration with Ministry of information and other relevant MDAs and Stakeholders, should embark on citizen’s enlightenment on the budgetary process.

3. In line with best practices to Call Circulars at various levels, CSOs should be included in the Sector Planning Teams (SPT) of MDAs in Niger Delta States.

4. The budgetary process should be made more transparent and participatory.

5. The Directorate of Project Monitoring and Evaluation should involve CSOs and the Media in project monitoring and evaluation.

6. Governments in the region should ensure that their budgets are gender-sensitive, with indicators for tracking, to cater for all segments of the society

7. All Stakeholders should try and limit, or minimize undue political interference on the budgetary process.

 

To Civil Society Organizations and Media

1. Civil Society, the Media and the people should demand that governments in the region, comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Laws, to bring about good governance, transparency and accountability, and win the confidence of the people.

2. Civil Society and the Media should participate in all stages of the budget process in the Niger Delta states, such as Budget Formulation, Legislative Review and Approval, Budget Implementation and Feedback, as well as Budget Audit and Review; to ensure transparency, fiscal probity and value for money.

3. CSOs should improve their technical capacity on Policy and Budget Analysis, to effectively engage government on pro-poor policies.

4. CSOs should canvass for a Joint Donor Basket for Budget Monitoring, Evaluation and Tracking.

At the end of the workshop, participants commended NDEBUMOG for organizing the training and also Oxfam Novib for their support.

Signed:

Opaka Dokubo

Chairman-Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ-Rivers State)

Alagoa Morris

Representative-Bayelsa State Non-Governmental Organizations Forum (BANGOF)

George-Hill Anthony

Executive Director-Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG)


 

A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY BUDGET TRACKING ENHANCEMENT TRAINING WORKSHOP.

PREAMBLE:

The two-day budget enhancement training workshop attracted stakeholders from NDEBUMOG partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Media and a Representative of the Cross River State Government. Papers presented at the workshop included: (1) Gender Sensitive Budgeting: The Gaps, Realities and Way Forward, (2) Public Procurement and Bidding Process of Government: Experience Sharing and Way Forward, (3) Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation, (4) Public Finance Expenditure Monitoring

The Complications, Intrigues and Advocacy for Best Practice, and (5) Introduction to Budget Tracking and Fiscal Methodologies of Government. Participants were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State, being States who are beneficiaries to the “ Deepening Expenditure Line Tracking for States and Local Governments in the Niger Delta (DELT4SLOG II)”, project, currently being implemented by the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG), with the support of Oxfam Novib.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on Budget Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Peter Oti, who declared the workshop open, outlined some of the successes recorded by the state government.

While participants commended the Cross River State Government for institutionalizing the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and participatory budget performance appraisal in the state, they observed that there is still room for improvement and expansion of scope.

OBSERVATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

Participants at the workshop observed that:

1. Some States in the Niger Delta do not have a Public Procurement and Fiscal Responsibility Laws; while others that have the law, do not have Civil  Society component to enhance monitoring and evaluation.

2.  Budgets, as presently formulated and implemented, across some states in the Niger Delta, are not people-centered.

3. Budget monitoring and evaluation is critical to development. Governments in the region (Niger Delta) should put in place a structure in all the  MDAs, which is to involve relevant stakeholders within the Budget framework.

4. The Civil Society, Media and other relevant stakeholders should step-up efforts towards carrying out oversight functions on budget monitoring and  evaluation.

5. There is inadequate knowledge of the (pro-poor) Budget Processes among the Lawmakers across the States in the Niger Delta.

6. There is dearth of technical capacity and knowledge amongst CSOs, CBOs and the private sector, with regards to engagement with the budgetary  process.

7. The budget process (in states across the Niger Delta) is shrouded in secrecy, and is neither transparent nor participatory.

8.  There is little awareness among the citizenry, on the budgetary process and government programmes.

9. There is lack of sincerity in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the budgetary process (in states across the region).

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

To the Government:

1. It is not enough for Governments in the region to domesticate the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Law; they should ensure effective implementation of the law.

2. The Budget Office across the States in region, in collaboration with Ministry of information and other relevant MDAs and Stakeholders, should embark on citizen’s enlightenment on the budgetary process.

3. In line with best practices to Call Circulars at various levels, CSOs should be included in the Sector Planning Teams (SPT) of MDAs in Niger Delta States.

4. The budgetary process should be made more transparent and participatory.

5. The Directorate of Project Monitoring and Evaluation should involve CSOs and the Media in project monitoring and evaluation.

6. Governments in the region should ensure that their budgets are gender-sensitive, with indicators for tracking, to cater for all segments of the society

7. All Stakeholders should try and limit, or minimize undue political interference on the budgetary process.

 

To Civil Society Organizations and Media

1. Civil Society, the Media and the people should demand that governments in the region, comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement and the Fiscal Responsibility Laws, to bring about good governance, transparency and accountability, and win the confidence of the people.

2. Civil Society and the Media should participate in all stages of the budget process in the Niger Delta states, such as Budget Formulation, Legislative Review and Approval, Budget Implementation and Feedback, as well as Budget Audit and Review; to ensure transparency, fiscal probity and value for money.

3. CSOs should improve their technical capacity on Policy and Budget Analysis, to effectively engage government on pro-poor policies.

4. CSOs should canvass for a Joint Donor Basket for Budget Monitoring, Evaluation and Tracking.

At the end of the workshop, participants commended NDEBUMOG for organizing the training and also Oxfam Novib for their support.

Signed:

Opaka Dokubo

Chairman-Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ-Rivers State)

Alagoa Morris

Representative-Bayelsa State Non-Governmental Organizations Forum (BANGOF)

George-Hill Anthony

Executive Director-Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG)


A TEXT OF THE COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A ONE-DAY SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON THE ROLE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE SOUTH-SOUTH ZONE, DURING THE 4TH PHASE OF THE PUBLIC SENSITIZATION PROGRAMME ON THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT ACT, HELD AT THE PRECIOUS PALM ROYAL HOTEL, ON THE 9TH OF AUGUST 2012, AT BENIN CITY, EDO STATE NIGERIA.

Preamble:

The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) through its appointed facilitator, organized the fourth phase public sensitisation on the Public Procurement Act. The event was held at the Precious Palm Royal Hotel, Ugbowo, Benin City, Edo State on Thursday, the 9th of August, 2012.

The event was attended by the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) who was represented by Mr. Anthony Ikpor (Director-Research, Training and Strategic Planning of the Bureau). Others were, the Special Assistant to the Edo State Governor on NGOs, Mrs Isimene Whyte, Special Assistant to the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Ms Angela Onwaeze, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 5 Benin City, who was represented by ACP Adeleye Oyebade, representative of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Ehiorobo Okonkwo, the Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning, Delta State, who was represented by Mr. Emeka Okonkwo. Edo State Commissioner of Police and the State House of Assembly, were also represented at the event. Six (6) Secondary Schools, Contractors, Consultants, Women Groups, Persons with Disabilities, NGOs, Youth Groups and NYSC members, the Media, amongst others, were also in attendance. Participants at the programme were over 600.

The sensitisation was to enlighten contractors, public servants, consultants, politicians, civil society organisations, professional bodies and associations, together with the general South-South stakeholders on the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007. It was an opportunity to interact with the general public from the zone on how they can take maximum advantage of the law to compete effectively in national procurements. The papers presented include the following.

The first paper was presented by Dr Sofiri Joab-Peterside, Acting Executive Director-Centre for Advanced Social Science (CASS), Port Harcourt, which was titled: Fighting Corruption in the Niger Delta through the Bureau of Public Procurement ACT: Perspectives on Best Practices.

The second paper was presented by Barr. Chima Williams of Environmental Rights Action, Benin City. It was titled: Linking Edo State Citizens to the Edo State Public Procurement Act 2012: Entry Points for Citizens of Edo State.

The third presentation, which was delivered by Mr Alabi Williams of The Guardian Newspapers was titled: Interlocking the Media in the Campaign Against Corruption through the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

The forum resolved, amongst other, that:

1.     The sensitization workshop is timely at this point in our political evolution.

2.     Nigerians should acquaint themselves with the public procurement laws of the federal and respective state governments, to enable them engage government and other stakeholders effectively.

3.     The need for citizens of Edo state in particular and the south-south in general to play active role in ensuring effective government compliance with the public procurement laws.

4.     The media should leave up to its traditional role of watch-dog in a Democracy.

5.     Effective compliance with the public procurement law at the federal and state levels is indispensible towards ensuring success in the fight against corruption.

6.     Sensitization workshops of this nature should be sustained and held more frequently, especially at the grassroots.

Signed:

George-Hill Anthony

Lead Zonal Coordinator

Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (Port Harcourt)

(Regional Accountability Centre)

Austin Osakue

Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change (Benin City)

Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee.

Adopted at Benin City on Thurdsay 9th August, 2012.


 

 

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