To promote development at the grassroots, the Kaduna State Government is equipping its local government directors of planning with the required planning skills to bridge the development gap between urban and rural areas.
Zachariah Marcus, the Director Planning in the state’s Planning and Budge Commission (PBC), said that 69 local government officials are being trained at a three-day technical workshop which began on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Marcus told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the training was designed to equip local government directors of planning and their officers with the needed planning skills.
“The step was taken to promote development at the grassroots by creating an autonomous, adequately funded, transparent and responsible local government system capable of delivering service to the people,’’ he said.
The director said the training was organised by PBC in collaboration with the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
According to him, the goal is to enable them to effectively draw up development plans for their respective local government areas that will drive development in rural areas.
“At the end of the training, the participants are expected to team up with their respective local government’s Planning and Budget Committees and come up with implementable development plans for the LGAs”, he said.
He said that the state had already developed Local Government Planning and Budgeting Manual to guide the local government officials in planning and budgeting process.
Also, Malam Adamu Bello, the Director Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said that the efforts was part of the ongoing reform to strengthen service delivery at local levels.
According to him, the reform is aim at putting fundamental structures in place for local government to thrive.
“The goal is to make local government areas vibrant to meet the yearnings of the people.
“The local government development plan will, therefore, prepare LGAs to effectively and efficiently render development to people at the grassroots.’’
Bello said the Kaduna State Local Government Reform Law 2017 has mandated the LGAs to develop a culture of participatory governance by encouraging community members to participate in the preparation, implementation and review of development plans.
“These structural reforms are intended to give local governments a greater capacity for service delivery, promote development at grassroots and ensure policy alignment with the state and Federal Government policies.’’
NAN reports that Gov Nasir El-Rufa’i had in November 2017 inaugurated the state’s Economic Planning Board (EPB) to ensure effective coordination and preparation of local government development plans and budget to improve the people’s livelihood.
The Commissioner, PBC, Muhammad Abdullahi, had explained that the EPB would provide the needed platform for collaboration between the state and the local governments to use resources efficiently.
“It will allow the state and LGAs to plan and strategise to move the state forward and improve the lot of the people.
“It will also ensure that local government plans and development issues are fully integrated at the state level to harness the resources of the LGAs for the maximum benefit of the people,’’ Abdullahi said.