Advocating for Freedom of Information in Kwara state
The #FollowKwaraMoney activities of ENetSuD has majorly been tracking projects captured in the FG’s budget by relying on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011 which is a law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have been able to do little on the tracking of projects captured in KWSG’s and LGAs’ budgets because of the controversy that surrounds the applicability of the FOI Act to States in Nigeria. This led us to initiate legislative advocacy to request for the domestication of FOI Act in Kwara state and proposed the passage of the FOI bill in Kwara State (https://bit.ly/2srfFAQ). We succeeded in this advocacy as the Hon. Ali Ahmed-led 8th Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA) passed the Bill on 30th May, 2019. The bill was transmitted to the new Governor of Kwara state on 20th June, 2019 for assent. Though we urged him to assent (read: https://bit.ly/2FYCpLL; also read: https://bit.ly/38ekLzJ), but he later requested for minor amendment on the bill in a letter read at KWHA plenary on 23rd July, 2019. We accepted his request for amendment and urged the 9th KWHA to accelerate the amendment as requested (read: https://bit.ly/2tUY9Fl). Disappointingly, Hon. Yakubu Danladi-led 9th KWHA has refused to do the minor amendment on the bill despite our repeated calls (read: https://bit.ly/2sq1LyS), which has made the Governor’s assent to it a mirage. Our hope on Kwara FOI bill is not lost as the Speaker of 9th KWHA (Hon. Danladi) recently assured us that the Assembly under his leadership will soon take a necessary step on the bill (read: https://bit.ly/2FNAiKo). Our consistent advocacy for the FOI domestication in the state has led the Governor to propose this Social Audit exercise, which has ENetSuD as the lead CSO implementing it. However, the advocacy for the passage of the FOI bill has not stopped.
Advocating for the repeal of Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law
The Governor or Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 (Kwara State Law No 12 of 2010) provides for payment of life pension and other huge benefits to past Governors and Deputy Governors of Kwara State. ENetSuD mobilized Kwara citizens to request for the repeal of this law by Kwara State House of Assembly (https://bit.ly/2Nq6BTX). At last, the Law has been repealed by the Assembly and signed by the Governor.
According to Kwara State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, most Kwara pupils are enrolled in various public schools across the state (52% in pre-primary and primary schools, 84% in junior secondary schools, and 87% in senior secondary schools) as at 2017/2018. ENetSuD, in its capacity, conducted a survey on human resources and infrastructural status of some selected public schools across the state and found that, in addition to gross insufficient and skewed personnel distribution, virtually all the public schools are dilapidated and not fit for teaching and learning (watch the video https://bit.ly/2QR90cn and other supporting videos: https://bit.ly/2RbypfS). Further findings by ENetSuD led to the revelation that the KWSG had not accessed UBEC grant since 2013 that has accumulated to ₦6,245,355,130 as at July 2018, a Federal Government grant that is meant to address the infrastructural need of basic education across Nigerian states. These findings made ENetSuD launch #FundKwaraEducation advocacy campaign to lobby KWSG to #AccessUBECGrant. The advocacy, which explored various methods, successfully got KWSG’s attention, but the previous administration of Abdulfatah Ahmed failed to access the grant (read: https://bit.ly/2NoPrGd; also read: https://bit.ly/2tVOHSh; then read: https://bit.ly/2FJ0xSp; and: https://bit.ly/35RCZW2). We continued our advocacy with the current administration of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who is now showing the political will to access part of the grant in the 2020 fiscal year (read: https://bit.ly/2tglaCI, also read: https://bit.ly/2siotZw). The present administration of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq initiated the renovation of 31 schools across Kwara state (https://bit.ly/2tglaCI) worth over two billion naira (₦2,004,205,641.01). Most of the renovation projects have been completed while few are near completion. Moreover, the accumulated UBEC grant (over 7.1 billion naira) has been accessed by the Kwara State Government, and the procurement process to invest the money in school infrastructure is ongoing.
Campaign for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Kwara state
The successive Kwara state government (KWSG) spent 6.5 billion naira on Ilorin Water Reticulation project without the desired impact of solving the problem of water scarcity across Ilorin metropolis, the capital of Kwara state. ENetSuD conducted a survey of the availability of water and was able to find out the absence of water supply in over 90% of the surveyed locations where Government claimed the water was available (watch the survey video: https://bit.ly/3a8jlbJ). ENetSuD adopted various forms of advocacy to demand value-for-money on the project, including repeated radio programs, social media publicity, interface with KWSG, among others (read: https://bit.ly/2sio35o, also read: https://bit.ly/3a5YTIn). Due to the inability of the previous administration of KWSG to provide water for the citizens after commissioning the project, ENetSuD continued the WASH advocacy with the new administration by writing the transition committee and continuing monitoring of the water situation across the city (read: https://bit.ly/2RbuakB). The result of this effort is that water supply has significantly improved in many communities within Ilorin metropolis after some constructive engagement with the present administration (read: https://bit.ly/3a4WrSp).