The strategic objective of the one-hour phone in program conducted at Kaduna state media cooperation (KSMC) by the Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC-PAS) was to create awareness about the processes, benefit and challenges involved in Routine Immunization integrated (RI) budgeting processes and also advocate for timely releases of Routine Immunization allocation in the 2021 counterpart funding in the Kaduna health sector budget.
The program led by Imam Muhammed Ashafa called on the state government to return the state to open budget process instead of the new method where all PHC funding was captured under what they called ‘’ The Integrated PHC funding’’ in which funding of activities at all the PHC levels was captured under one unit.
During the one-hour phone advocacy program, the advocates explained that the integrated RI budgeting process will create vagueness and make it difficult to know exactly how RI is funded, they advocated for a more transparent and cohesive plan for RI.
“The integrated budgeting shroud the level of authority approving expenditure and improving allocation to RI, and makes difficult for transparency’’ Imam Ashafa said
Participants for the phone in program were drawn from RI expert in Kaduna state and coordinated by the Interfaith Mediation Center. The Kaduna state media cooperation was chosen as they have wider media coverage reach of 1.5 million listeners in Kaduna and beyond Kaduna state. The KSMC radio has basically listened to by government officials, politicians, academicians, and the masses at large.
Many listeners called to express their worry over the opaqueness of the budget especially on RI in the 2021 budget.
Mrs Hannatu Iliya, an advocate, said as a pioneer state in the OGP, Kaduna state should not be seen to reverse the gain established in openness and transparent budgeting as done this year.
“The 2021 budget really came to us as a surprise especially the so-called integrated PHC financing. And, this is done despite the open process which allowed many stakeholders to express their views during the budget process. The state the government should, in the interest of openness reverse this new trend’’ She said
Several callers called for more transparency as the introduced mechanism is open to abuse and manipulation as releases and funding can now be at the mercy of executive officers since there is no direct provision in the signed budget.
IMC-PAS was able to bring awareness on the issue of the integrated budgeting system for RI and its implication for transparency and accountability, whilst advocating for timely releases of the RI counterpart funds.
IMC-PAS will conduct an up follow-up advocacy on the impact of RI allocation and releases of 2021 budget, whilst tracking the releases for the production of the RI PAS People’s scorecard..