By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Civil Society Organisation, BudgIT, Friday, disclosed extending its Tracka platform to Abia, Bauchi, and the Benue States for citizens’ participation in budget implementation and execution of public infrastructure.
This was made known in a statement signed by Communications Associate, BudgIT, Iyanu Fatoba, where it expressed optimism that this gives the opportunity to citizens in these three states to collaborate, track and give feedback on public projects in their communities.
According to the statement BudgIT had earlier established Tracka in 26 State, and with this additional three States coming on board BudgIT’s mandate of ensuring public projects are effectively implemented through active citizen participation and government engagement will be achieved.
Explaining further the statement pointed out that Tracka ensures that citizens are well informed on budget allocation and implementation processes by equipping them with adequate budgetary information and simplifying budget details to empower communities and ensure they take ownership, monitor, and hold their representatives accountable until projects are effectively implemented.
The statement reads in part, “As part of our progressive efforts geared towards ensuring an effective and inclusive government that works for the public; Tracka, BudgIT’s transparency platform that allows citizens to collaborate, track and give feedback on public projects in their communities is expanding to Abia, Bauchi and Benue States.
“With an established presence in 26 States, scaling Tracka’s reach to these three states is a laudable step towards BudgIT’s mandate of ensuring public projects are effectively implemented through active citizen participation and government engagement.
“Over the years, there have been shoddy and poor execution of public projects at both National and Subnational levels. This has been heightened by public ignorance of the budget process and inability of the citizens to demand service delivery from their representatives.
“Tracka ensures that citizens are well informed on budget allocation and implementation processes by equipping them with adequate budgetary information and simplifying budget details to empower communities and ensure they take ownership, monitor, and hold their representatives accountable until projects are effectively implemented.”
According to the statement, Tracka will also commence community engagement in all Local Government Areas of the three added States.
“On August 10, Tracka will commence its community engagement and tracking exercise in all the Local Government Areas within Abia, Bauchi, and the Benue States. The exercise will focus on examining capital projects that have been awarded to these communities.
“More importantly, Tracka will also induct community project tracking champions within the localities for future collaborations, continuous engagement, and feedback.
The statement quoted Head of Tracka, Uademen Ilevbaoje, who said, “We will be engaging government officials and agencies via written letters to follow up on these projects Citizens who have access to digital platforms will also be trained on social media as a feedback loop, and the reviews will be aggregated to build actionable intelligence.”
The statement added that “The focus communities will be educated on how to leverage the Freedom of Information (FOI) policy for information requests on budget allocations to their communities.
“Participation in the budget process and project monitoring by active citizens is one of the effective ways to ensure government’s commitment to transparency and quality service delivery, thus, citizens should consistently engage their elected representatives, and follow up on capital projects awarded to their communities to ensure their needs are adequately captured in every yearly fiscal plan.”