In Nigeria budget monitoring by 10 trained community groups in four Local Government areas in Anambra State has led to the completion of a number of projects which had been budgeted for but not started, including a bridge, two health centres, three primary schools, a 2km road, erosion and flood control, solar street lighting and four boreholes. These investments are estimated to benefit around 300,000 people. The state government now publishes a list of all live projects on its website to facilitate community monitoring and the award of contracts locally.
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Key elements of context
- High levels of corruption throughout Nigeria (ranked 121st of 180 countries in 2008 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index)
- Systems and structures were not in place or functioning to support transparent decision-making or dialogue between Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and the communities they serve. LGAs did not proactively share information with citizens on matters other than security, and requests for information were ignored. Meetings with citizenry were not set up either proactively or on request.
- Town Hall Unions were supposedly a forum for dialogue between LGAs and communities, but they were not institutionalised and meetings were frequently not held or cancelled.
- Low participation in decision-making processes among poor and marginalised groups, particularly women, PWDs, indigenous groups. Few women registered to vote.
- Local government elections had not been held for over 13 years. The local government administration was in the hands of selected few career civil servants appointed by the governor.
- Allocation of services and resources were subject to influence by patronage networks. Contracts were often outsourced outside the LGA in which they are implemented preventing local people from benefitting from local government expenditure.
- Allocation of LGA budgets and services were not monitored. Many projects were planned and paid for but never implemented either due to corrupt misappropriation of funds or poor planning.
- Local civil service organisations existed, but were not working together or taking joint action, and few were engaged in advocacy.