Stakeholders task governments on accountability for gender-specific projects

Some stakeholders have called on various levels of governments to ensure accountability of their budgets, particularly those for gender-specific projects.

The stakeholders made the call at an ongoing capacity building workshop organised by Yiaga Africa in Lagos on Saturday.

The theme of the two-day event is,  “Experience Sharing and Capacity Building Workshop on Gender-Responsive Budgeting”.

The stakeholders said that ensuring accountability was by tracking the budget performance to get better outcome.

Dr Terfa Abraham, Consultant, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, said  that Nigeria was doing well in the planning and allocation for gender-specific projects in the budget.

Abraham, however, said the nation needed to improve in the release, utilisation and implementation of the budget to ensure it yield expected results.

He noted that the Federal and State Governments talked about having gender-sensitive and gender-inclusive budgets; however, when projects for specific agencies are scrutinised, they are for other projects.

“The project for gender will be either for generators or vehicles. They will be for projects that are not directly targeted at addressing those issues that are gender exclusive,” he said.

The consultant advised that Ministries, Departments and Parastatals (MDAs) have gender-specific projects budgeted for and should ensure they are implemented.

He said that units and departments responsible for implementing it should also be clearly stated.

He further said that MDAs should have a gender desk that will have register and information of statistical base of the social demographics of the state to enable targeted projects.

“So, when there are programmes, they are targeted to avoid heads of government agencies filling up lists with people chosen randomly,” he said.

Dr Ene Ede, Consultant, Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP),called for accountability in the execution of the budget to ensure better outcomes.

According to Ede, the budget cannot be performing if the evidence cannot be seen in the lives of the citizens.

She said that the lack of accountability was giving room for corruption.

Ede recommended that persons and agencies who implemented and oversee the budget should understand, track and ask questions.

“Demand answers from all the stakeholders; beneficiaries, those implementing, those tracking and overseeing because the performance of the budget cannot be in isolation.

“It is unfair that Nigerians are not enjoying the commonwealth. We may not enjoy it equally but it should be equitable,” she said.

The workshop is aimed at ensuring that issues concerning development and governance are reflected in budgeting and appropriation in the nation.(NAN)