Keketkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, on Friday said it trained 200 people in Delta communities between 2016 and 2018 with the support of OXFAM.
Okon said that the 200 men and women were trained on Community Need Assessment, taxation participatory budgeting and gender responsive budgeting.
She said the training was to promote citizens participation in budgeting processes and engage Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to address issues of people’s welfare, poverty, inequality and development.
”The project also encourages citizens, particularly women at local government level to speak up on issues of multiple taxation,” she said.
Okon said that the organisation was collaborating with Tax Justice Platform and in each of the project, states were expected to mobilise community members to campaign for fair taxation.
”The project also builds the capacity of community members to conduct Needs Assessment and present same to the local government or relevant state ministries to enable government’s budget to address specific needs of community members.
”This is to ensure that the concerns, interest and needs of men, women, youth, persons with disabilities, farmers and artisans are included in the budget,” she said.
Okon said that apart from training, the organisation’s main focus was on financing for development projects to increase citizens voices.
She said the first three years of the project was focused on conducting the Gender Context Analysis of Budgetary and Fiscal Policy, mapping of community groups in influencing policies and practices by speaking up and holding government accountable.
”We have now entered the phase of taking action and influencing.
”Budget advocacy groups were formed during the training, these groups are now monitoring the implementation of government budget, ” she said.
Okon said that through the support from OXFAM, some government MDAs were informed about the project and the training programmes.
”Some MDAs did not only participate, but also nominated participants for the training,” she said.
Some of the participants told the Nigeria News Agency that in the past, budgets had been one sided.
They said government used to execute projects in communities without carrying people along “but today all that are changing because of advocacies by NGOs”.
Mr Pere Botu, a participant said ”through the training, we were able to observed some lopholes in multiple taxation and were taught how to get government to correct such anomalies.”
Edited by Grace Yussuf