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US Agency builds capacity of CSOs in Gombe on budget analysis

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US Agency builds capacity of CSOs in Gombe on budget analysis

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its state Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity, has begun a three-day training for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Gombe State.

Our correspondent reports that the training which commenced on Tuesday in Gombe is aimed at building the capacities of CSOs in the state on budget analysis.

Mr Philip Ikita, the Citizen Engagement and Capacity Building Specialist, USAID Nigeria State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness State2state Activity Gombe State, said the essence of the training was to promote good governance.

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Ikita stated that a total of 32 CSOs and eight Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from the state government would be trained in the three-day exercise.

He said a good knowledge of budget analysis remained a key tool for citizens and CSOs to assess their performance as well as that of government at all levels for the purpose of ensuring development.

According to him, effective budget analysis skills help citizens and CSOs ask the right questions to hold the government accountable to the people.

“This training will deepen the capacity of CSOs in budget analysis, and check for progress in the key sectors of basic education, Primary Healthcare and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Ikita stated that at the end of the training, the capacity of CSOs in budget analysis skills of CSOs would have been built as a way of improving the CSO’s capacity towards effective advocacy and quality service delivery to the people.

He assured that the training would help facilitate a good understanding of future budget needs while strengthening the budget analysis capacity of women and promoting their civic participation.

The USAID official commended the Gombe State government for improving access to the budget by citizens and stakeholders which he said was crucial to the training.

“Gombe State has made significant improvement as citizens now have access to details of the budget on request while the state government also post quarterly budget performance.

“This helps to guide the people on how to analyze the budget and know the areas that needed to be improved.”

Also speaking, USAID Local Government Manager State2State Activity, Zariyatu Abubakar, enlightened participants on the gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) which according to her is a budget of inclusiveness that works for everyone (women and men, girls and boys).

Abubakar said such a budgeting system ensured gender-equitable distribution of resources and contributes to equal opportunities for all.

“This is planning and implementing of activities that meet identified gender issues/concerns that promote gender equality and encourage equal participation, including equal and fair distribution of benefits.”

She stressed that GRBs were not separate budgets for women, but instead, general budgets that “are planned, approved, executed, monitored and audited in a gender-sensitive way.

“Gender responsive budgeting aims at mainstreaming gender into public finance.

Gender-responsive budgeting is an approach designed to mainstream the gender dimension into all stages of the budget cycle.

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