The Kaduna state Commissioner for Ministry of Rural and Community Development, Balaraba Aliyu Inuwa, has described the activities of civil societies in the state as “quite disappointing,” saying, they are not engaging with government effectively.
Balaraba stated this recently in Kaduna during a round-table dialogue on Good Governance organized by Concerned Civil Society vs Kaduna State Government.
According to her, since she assumed office, there has never been any CSOs or NGO that has visited her office; noting that, this has made it to look like these bodies have lost their voice.
She described the dialogue as a welcome development, looking at the role the CSOs and NGOs play in the society.
“Civil societies are key stakeholders in governance. In theory, they are representatives of people; so, for the purpose of sustainability, transparency and accountability, they have a role to play in the implementation of government policies and programs.
“I think, with processes like this one, they can come together and build network, coalition, and build their capacities, in order to engage effectively with government.
“As representatives of the people, they can mobilize people at community level to engage properly with government; they can keep tab of projects that are happening even when a government is gone,” she stated.
In his remarks, convener of the program, Emmanuel Bonnet, said, engaging with government has become necessary so as to enhance development. He noted that, over the years, CSOs have been working separately from government; but with the coming of this administration, they have approached and, have agreed to, fashion out modalities on how they can partner effectively for development.
He said they (civil societies) would be on the table when government would be drawing its policies, and also bring citizens to be engaged as well; adding that, “We would also propose policies and areas of engagement that government needs to follow so that community would not just sit down and receive policies from government without being involved.
“We also want to ensure that there is inclusion in the government policies and programs.”
According to him, this partnership would be a sure way of enhancing development, an increase in transparency and accountability. He noted that, they intend to work with government in seven ways, among which includes: acknowledging good practice and areas of improvement, bringing together variety of voices, responding directly to government reports, recommendation of actions and improvement, and demonstrating civil society commitment to implementation.