“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Our decisions in life will either make or mar us especially when it relates to the provisions of basic amenities in impoverished settlements within our communities. Our unborn generation will struggle less and the nation will be a better place if public services are efficiently implemented.
On the 25th of January 2019, I was faced with the job of assessing the performance of a school project. “Renovation and Rehabilitation of St Anthony School, Azia in Ihiala South LGA of Anambra State’’ by
Pranav Contracting Nigeria Ltd at a contract amount of ₦35,000,000.00. This was a follow up from a monitoring exercise carried out in February 2017 on the UBEC abandoned project.
The idea was to track the impact on the projects to ascertain the state and progress of work done since my last tour. During my visit, I devised an evaluation method which relied on beneficiaries telling stories of significant change witnessed as a result of these two structures erected in the school premises. Answers to the interview questions directed to the principal and students had the recent fixes attributed to Public and Private Development Centre’s (PPDC) intervention at every point.
Before then, In June 2017, PPDC carried out a Town hall meeting “BUDESHI WAKA” in respect to this project. The principal who spoke on behalf of the community members and PTA members at the engagement complained bitterly about the deplorable state of the projects.
However, He noted that a few weeks before PPDC’s engagement tour, a monitoring and evaluation team came to the school to see the dilapidated state of the abandoned project while promising an action plan towards its completion. “Work started again the week before the town hall meeting and we are looking forward to seeing a completed building conducive for learning “he further stated.
In recent times, On the 21st of August 2020 to be precise, I was free and a bit relaxed at my workstation. Then came this call from the new principal of the school, the excitement that accompanied his voice was intriguing. When I inquired, She thanked me on behalf of PPDC saying that ‘’The windows and doors of St Anthony Azia have been fixed’’. I am thankful for your efforts.
This and many more are some of the success stories emanating from project sites. PPDC has implored approaches and channels like contract monitoring, investigative journalism, Budeshi Hub and a toll free line 0800BUDESHI (08002833744) to provide solutions and a cost less approach for citizen’s to reach out about enquiries on Projects in their communities that require government attention.
Budeshi Toll Free line: 0800BUDESHI (08002833744)
Over time, PPDC has also used its Budeshi Radio programs to educate and sensitize citizens on the need to demand accountability in public contracting processes.
Based on this, Stakeholders and project’s beneficiaries are now beginning to understand the impact they have on projects implemented in their localities and Citizen participation and inclusivity in project execution has increased;
This has systematically developed an intuitive understanding of detailed project’s impact that could be communicated in conjunction with factual stories.
The need for social accountability and citizens participation in governance cannot be overemphasized, this can help transform public services and give the masses the effective, honest and responsive public institutions that they deserve.