Kaduna Govt. Doles Out N20m To Encourage LGA Transparency, Accountability

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The Kaduna State Government has begun the implementation of Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (LFTAS) Programme.

It also planned a N20 million incentives for all councils that complies with LFTAS in order to strengthen service delivery at local levels.

Muhammad Abdullahi, the Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), made this known in interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday.

NAN report that the state government had in July set aside N20million as incentives for Local Government Areas that embrace fiscal transparency and accountability.

The PBC sent letters of intent to the 23 LGAs to respond within 30 days.

Additional two weeks was given after which only 21 LGA responded; Kachia and Soba LGAs did not respond.

Abdullahi said that the implementation started first week of November.

“At the end of every year, the local government areas would be assessed based on the extent of citizens’ engagement in budget preparations, public procurement system, and how they tackled absenteeism and negative attitude to work among other areas.

“Each category attracts certain amount of money, but the LGAs that meet all the categories will receive N20 million”.

The commissioner said that the LFTAS programme would make local government areas vibrant to meet the aspirations and yearnings of the people.

According to him, the Kaduna State Local Government Reform Law 2017 mandates the LGAs to develop a culture of participatory governance.

He said the reform encouraged community members to participate in the preparation, implementation and review of development plans.

“These structural reforms are intended to give local governments a greater capacity for effective service delivery, promote development at grassroots and ensure policy alignment with the state and Federal Government policies”.

Abdullahi said that the step was taken to promote development at the grassroots through the creation of autonomous, adequately funded, transparent and responsible local government system.

He said that the PBC and Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs would jointly coordinate the programme.

NAN reports that the Kaduna State Government had in September 2017 commenced the implementation of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).

The OGP was a Federal Government programme aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in governance.

“Kaduna State is therefore the first in the country to subscribe to the OGP because of the willingness of the government to be open and transparent”.

The state subscribed to five commitment areas namely open budgeting, open contracting, ease of doing business, access to information and citizen engagement.