A non-governmental organisation committed to tracking government spending at the grassroots Connected Development (CODE) has taken its ‘Follow The Money’ campaign to Ondo. CODE which is currently in operation in about eight states of the federation across the Northern and Southern part of the country enlisted Ondo as one of the new states that will benefit from the ‘Follow The Money’ advocacy campaign. In line with this, it held its first training for its Ondo volunteers on Saturday, September 1, 2018.
The training which held in Akure, the state capital was an avenue for the organisation to familiarise itself with the new community champions in Ondo and to take them through its flagship advocacy which covers more than thirty projects in Owo local government area of the state and will also spread to other parts of the Sunshine state in due course. The advocacy will track over six hundred and twenty education projects in the state under the UBEC/SUBEB counterpart funding for the year 2013-2016.
According to CODE’s programs manager (Education), Busayo Morakinyo, who is the convener of the training, the tracking is important so that these laudable projects can be executed according to the details contained in the Bill of Quantity and project description. Morakinyo enjoined the new volunteers to see themselves as development partners that will lead the infrastructural transformation in the state’s education sector.
Sharing his experience while tracking SUBEB projects in Lagos in the year 2018, Adesina Tosin Nathaniel, CODE Lagos state community champion advised the new champions to be resilient in their given task irrespective of the challenges as the joy of the tracking comes to fore when new schools spring up in their communities and Ondo children have access to better educational infrastructure as contained in the UBEC mandate.
In the same vein CODE’s Project Assistant, Damilola Odu advised the new champions on the necessary code of conduct in their respective communities starting from their ability to interact well with community members in their local dialect or through an interpreter, information collection in the community and other necessary prerequisites for a successful tracking process.
At the end of the training, ten new champions were commissioned to take on Owo local government projects as its pilot tracking. The team is coordinated by Ondo CODE community champion coordinator, Ajongbolo Olugbenga.