The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in Partnership with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) and with support from the MacArthur Foundation held a biannual review meeting with its Campaign Promise Trackers from Oyo and Kano States. The meeting took place via zoom on 2 July 2020. NWTF over the last 2 years, engaged Campaign Finance Trackers to track election-related expenses of candidates during the 2019 general elections after which they were commissioned to track Campaign Promises of elected officials in the states of project implementation as a deliberate means to analyze the different impacts that corruption has and how it impacts men and women differently in politics.
The meeting focused on the review of activities lessons learned as well as sustainability measures to continue with the gains of the project.
The meeting also availed the opportunity to discuss critical issues of accountability measures by the state governments (Oyo and Kano States) amidst COVID-19 and the distribution of palliatives. Other premises for discussion surrounded the evaluation of promises tracked so far in the states, level of fulfillment of the promises by the elected officials, and overall assessment of the effectiveness of the promises on the lives of the citizens in the respective states.
Some of the key findings from the tracking are as follows:
- In Kano State, though the Governor promised 35% affirmative action on inclusion if elected, he hasn’t completely fulfilled his promise as the rate of inclusion of women in the Kano State Government is at about 12%. However, citizens believe that his Government is more inclusive than the past Governments in the state.
- Amongst other promises made by the Kano State Governor, the promises of free education for the girl child, improved healthcare, improved infrastructural development and employment are currently In progress. However, majority of the work in progress was put on hold due to COVID-19.
- In Oyo State, the Governor also promised to be inclusive in his Government. Although he also hasn’t given up to 35% appointive positions to women, the CPTs however agreed that he has been commendable in the aspect of inclusion as he gives top notch positions to women in the state
- The Oyo State Governor is also fulfilling his promise of employing additional schoolteachers as well as ensuring that pregnant women in the state access free antenatal service. This was however short-lived due to the outbreak of COVID – 19 as some of the health care centers were designated as COVID-19 isolation centers.
- In terms of accountability in the distribution of palliatives, while CPTs from Kano State reported that there was no inclusion of women and people with special needs in the membership of the Kano State COVID-19 palliatives committee, Oyo State CPTs reported that only about two women were seen as members of the committee.
- CPTs from both states agreed that there was no proper coordination of the exercise as it was left in the hands of politicians and traditional rulers hence it’s politicization and exclusion of women.
- Both states reported that there was no clearly defined modalities and criteria for the selection of beneficiaries as well as items that should be contained in the palliative packages
- The CPTs stated that there has been no accountability measures from their state governments regarding the total amount of money used for procuring the palliatives, what the sources of the money used in procuring the palliatives are, who procured the palliatives, and how much the palliatives cost per beneficiary.
- In Kano State, the Public complaint and Anticorruption Commission (PCACC) is investigating the alleged corrupt practices involving politicians and traditional rulers for diverting COVID-19 palliatives meant for vulnerable groups. This was as a result of public outcry from the citizens that they had not received any of the palliatives that was said to be shared.
These and many others formed key take-aways from the review meeting with Campaign Promise Trackers.