CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING ON SOCIAL AUDIT AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
It was privileged to anchor a 2 Day capacity building training on Social Audit and Freedom of Information Act for 4 selected Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State.
The event which is an implementation of the strategic partnership agreement project, had in attendance Representatives from the Honourable Commissioners of Environment and Youth and Sport. Also in attendance were stakeholders and partners from the media,Civil Society Groups, Youth Groups, Cluster of persons with disabilities and Representatives from the Four selected communities of Oron, Ibeno,Ikot Ikpene and Etinan.
The event gave participants a practical knowledge of assessing physical and financial gaps between needs and resources for local development. It trained community youth stakeholders on participatory local planning and how to effectively leverage on social capital for collective decision making, especially as it relates to the scrutiny of budget allocation and other public services. Participants were trained on public assessment of tax, exemptions and grants to ensure there are no complaints of undue preferential treatment.
A critical evaluation of a pre-test conducted before the Training had 46percent of participants with a fair knowledge of Social Audit and Freedom of Information Act. The percentage was mostly drawn from the Civil Society Groups, Media and Nonprofit Led Organisation situated in these Local Government Areas.
A Post test conducted after the training showed a 98% improvement, a clear performance indicator from participating communities.
Copies of Budgetary Allocations were shared to participants for Social Development Monitoring. Participants were divided into four groups to define public performance indicators.
One of the Group work activities had a breakdown of advocacy strategy adopted by a community to champion their community demand.
Group work and Presentation by Participants from Ibeno, Ikot Ikpene, Etinan and Ibeno Local Government Areas.
Below is a comprehensive detailed analysis of the outcome of all the Local Government Areas.
The Assessment for Etinan was : Using Public Expenditure Tracking Survey come up with a plan of action to track the 2022 Federal Government Consolidated and Constituency Projects in Akwa Ibom State
Program Code: ZIP20221307;
Project: Construction of Solar Powered Borehole at Mbioto 2, Etinan LGA, AKA: Type -New; Amount -N15Million; Agency: BCDA; Ministry: Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF)
Program Code: ZIP20221308; Project: Reconstruction of Village Hall, Ikot Osong, Etinan Local Government Area; Amount N25Million; Agency: Border Community Development Agency (BDCA); Ministry: SGF
GROUP ONEPresentation was done by NDIKOGKEABASI UMOH
Preparatory Ground Work
(i) Scope: Construction of Solar Powered Borehole at Mbioto II
(ii) Committees: Etinan social audit
a. House of representative member representing Etinan federal constituency
b. Etinan Local Government chairman
c. The village head of Mbioto II
d. Youth leader
e. Councilor representing the ward
f. The project contractor
g. The Agency (BCDA)
h. The ministry (SGF)
Stage 2: Information Gathering and Analysis
(i) Write FOI to relevant stakeholders (BCDA, contractor, SGF)
(ii) Meeting with KII and FGD
(iii) Cos t and management accountant (data expert)
Stage 3: Public Disclosure and Evidence – Based Dialogue
(i) Media strategic – Radio, social media campaign
(ii) Policy dialogue – Agency, contractor, constituency office, community leaders and members, media etc
Stage 4: Follow up
(i) Training of community members, and also conduct check and balances on the contractors, other agencies
Group 2 Presentation was on Renovation of Primary School and Supply of Educational Materials
Ikot Ekpene Social Audit committee started their presentation with a letter the chairman of UBEC presented by Etim Lucy Denis and Joseph Deborah Elijah
Thro: SUBEB AKS
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
We write to request for Information on the recent renovation of Primary school Imama Obot Akara and supply of educational materials in our Saviour Primary Schoool Uruak Uso, Ikot Ekpene to ascertain the level of distribution and the progress in the renovation.
The objective is to ensure a proper follow-up on the level completion and what is remaining for distribution
The will further guide the implementation of such projects in the future. We hope this request is granted the necessary support needed.
For: The Committee
RENOVATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL AND SUPPLY OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL
Stakeholders the Etinan Group Identified were
(i) The Local Government Chairman
(ii) Educational secretary
(iii) Head Master
(iv) Commissioner of Education
(v) Youth President
(vi) The village head
(vii) Contractor (UBEC) agency
(viii) The Chairman SUBEB
The Group Developed Performance Indicator
- Contractors visit
- Sign post of the contract positioned
- Presentation of bill of quantity
- Renovation of school according to project design
- Commissioning of project
- Project put to use
The Information Gathered
From the information gathered, the contractor said 60% of the work has been done. Whereas going to the site, it is discovered that only 40% of the work has been done.
However no more sign of further constitution was noticed on site. Therefore in the supply of educational material 80% has been supplied
Public Disclosure and Evidence based Dialogue
• Stakeholder meeting with the social audit
• Communication strategy weak – radio + social media
• Public awareness and media alliance
- Continuous advocacy visits and demands
o Constituency office
The Third group was Oron Local Government, their assessment was on
Using Public Expenditure Tracking Survey come up with a plan of action to track the 2022 Federal Government Consolidated and Constituency Projects in Akwa Ibom State.
Program Code: ERG30180327; Project: Renovation and Furnishing of a BLOCK of 6 Classrooms in Iquita, Oron LGA; AK South Senatorial District, AKS; Type -New; Amount -N21.25Million; Agency: UBEC; Ministry: Education
Program Code: ERG30180325; Project: Fencing of Government Primary School, Uya Oron, Oron LGA, AK South Senatorial District, AKS; Type -New; Amount -N21.25Million;
Program Code: ZIP20220850; Project: Provision of Strategic Empowerment for youths and women in Oron Federal Constituency, AKS.
Project Type: New; Amount N70Million;
Agency: National Productive Centre; Ministry: Labour
ORON SOCIAL AUDIT COMMITTEE
Scope: Fencing of Government primary school, Uyo oro, Oron LGA AKS south senatorial district, AKS
Committee: Oron social audit committee
(iii) Paramount ruler
(iv) State house member
(v) Village head
(vi) Youth president/councilor and superior
Relevant Admin structure : UBEC (Deputy Director/Co-coordinator)
• Data mining – government website
• FOIs bill of quantity and project design
• KII and FGD with key stakeholders
• Analysis of data and information gathered
Program Code: ERG30180325
Project: Fencing of government primary school in Uya Oro, Oron LGA
Amount: N21.25 million
Meeting with the community member and the stakeholders and social media
Follow up: Undertake advocacy
The Fourth Group was centred on IBENO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Presented by Helen Essien
Project Code: ZIP20221308
Project Type: Reconstruction of Village Hall, Ikot Osong, Etinan LGA
Project Type: New
Amount: N25 Million
Scope of Audit: To track federal Government fund release and implementation of reconstruction of village hall, Ikot Osong – Etinan LGA
Committee: Social Audit committee – Ibeno (formed)
Key stakeholders: BCDA, SGF office, accountant general of the federation, legislative members, Etinan federal constituency and contractor; LGA chairman, community head, youth/women leader
FOI Request to: Key information needed
• Bill of quantity
• Prompt paid – Government websites
• KIIs and FGDs with relevant stakeholders
Collaboration: Media and CSOs
Information gather and analysis
- Writing FOI request to relevant agencies
- Response of relevant stakeholders about the project
- Informing key stakeholders about project stage and challenges
- Public disclosure and evidence based dialogue
Presentation of gathered data to the community through:
- Town hall meetings
- Creation of awareness
- Dissemination of information
- Media publication
- Meeting with agency
- Constituency office
- Community members
Participants from these Local Government Areas are expected to followup on Budgetary Processes to ensure transparency and accountability.
In the course of the training, an appeal was made to The Government to domesticate the Freedom of Information Act in the state.
This training was ably organized by the Clement Isong Foundation in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria to involve socially marginalised Youth and communities to be involved in Governace.
A synopsis of the Capacity Building Training
By Akan James
Communication, Media and Policy Officer
Clement Isong Foundation