USAID State2State Trains Bauchi State Lawmakers On Oversight Function


State Team Lead of the USAID funded State2State Activity, Bauchi Field Office, Mrs Rabi Ekele. Photo: Murtala Muhammad

By Murtala Muhammad

Members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly are undergoing a two-day orientation on their oversight roles aimed at ensuring effective performance in their constitutional oversight function.

The orientation is being conducted in Kano, organised by the Bauchi Field Office of the USAID funded State Accountability Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) activity in collaboration with the state House of Assembly.

In an address, the State Team Lead, Bauchi Field Office of State2State Activity, Mrs Rabi Ekele said it was not out of place to engage the lawmakers in the early stage of their being in the legislative chamber, in view of the fact that most of the tenth state house of assembly members were new.

Mrs Ekele stated that the orientation would go a long way in acquanting the participants with the specific roles and responsibilities that rest on their shoulders, especially as it relates to oversight duties.

She emphasised the need for more collaboration with the state house of assembly towards ensuring citizens’ driven engagements for accountable, transparent and effective representation.

Cross section of participants singing National Anthem at the commencement of the Orientation Workshop for Members of the Tenth State House of Assembly. Photo: Murtala Muhammad

The Citizens Engagement and Capacity Building Specialist of State2State Activity, Mr Habila Salem, who read the objectives of the orientation said it was to enhance knowledge and understanding of the participants on key aspects of state legislative oversight and introduce them to legislative oversight template for enhanced legislative oversight function.

According to Mr Salem, part of the objective is to build capacity of the legislators for effective public budget oversight, financial monitoring, project monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

The Citizens Engagement and Capacity Building Specialist, noted that the orientation was also aimed at strengthening collaboration among State2State, other USAID Implementing Partners and the State House of Assembly on ongoing governance reform effort in the state.

Mr Salem added that the orientation seeks to identify challenges and agree on next steps for improved legislative oversight function in Bauchi state.

Speaking, the State Director, USAID funded Integrated Health Program (IHP) Dr Siaka Alhassan who said the state health indicators were not impressive compared to other states in the country, stated that the lawmakers have a responsibility to reverse the trend.

Dr Alhassan said without the help of the legislators, the USAID Implementing Partners cannot justify the billions of US dollars generated from tax payers to change the negative narratives in health, education, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as well as other areas of human interest in the state.

The representative of USAID funded Learn to Read, Abdullahi Abubakar said the project was working in all the twenty local government areas of Bauchi State with particular emphasis on Primary one and two to ensure they can read and write in their mother tongue.

In an interview, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Abubakar Sulaiman who said the papers so far presented, revealed some touching indices in health, education and WASH sectors, assured that the tenth State Assembly would frequent the executive to ensure improvement in that direction.

He commended USAID State2State Activity for organising the capacity building orientation and assured of strengthened collaboration for effective, accountable, transparent and inclusive representation.

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