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2022 budget: YIAGA tasks NASS on gender balance

By Ngozi Egenuka
16 October 2021   |   3:02 am
A non-governmental organisation, YIAGA Africa, has called on the National Assembly to create an Act that would ensure gender-responsive budget and projects in the country.

[FILES] National Assembly

non-governmental organisation, YIAGA Africa, has called on the National Assembly to create an Act that would ensure a gender-responsive budget and projects in the country.

The call was made at a workshop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholders tagged ‘Experience Sharing and Capacity Building Workshop on Gender-Responsive Budgeting’, organised by YIAGA Africa, in partnership with Spotlight Initiative in Lagos, yesterday.

At the forum, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were also urged to demand accountability on the implementation of budget allocations.

An economist, Terfa Abraham, said gender-responsive public service was not necessarily about budgeting for women but about proper budgeting for everyone.

He noted that if budgets were not programmed to target programmes and projects to the vulnerable in society, they would be excluded from the normal non-gender budgeting process.

“Gender-responsive budgeting for a particular state may be budgeting for bringing back boys to schools; for another state, it might be bringing back girls to schools. So, it is state, location and community-specific. It is also important for all stakeholders to be carried along in gender budgeting. For example, the budget will not account for women that are victims of flood ordinarily in a particular location unless it is deliberately targeted,” he said.

Abraham stressed that the method for gender-responsive budgeting includes size, which explains how much; share, which focuses on proportion in relation to total budget; and sensitivity, which shows how it addresses specific needs, advocacy and actions.

He added that there was a need for the budgetary process to be participatory by getting citizens like people with disabilities to identify their needs, which would then be included in the budget.

Speaking with The Guardian, Violence Against People (Prohibition) (VAPP) Coordinating Consultant, Ene Ede, noted that the multi-stakeholder meeting empowered participants with inter-generational and inter-agency connections to deliver on several objectives.
She said: “To get the results of this budgeting dialogue to reflect in 2022, accountability is key, where different components of the budget are tracked. Demand to be educated and seek answers from all stakeholders, beneficiaries and National Assembly that play the oversight role. In the eyes of the people, the performance of the budget cannot be in isolation. We want to be able to see the connections in the budget. The level of liability in the budget is alarming and it is no longer acceptable.”
Project Manager, YIAGA Africa, Ernest Ereke, noted that the workshop had in attendance selected individuals that would help drive proper budgeting in the country.