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Sunday, September 20, 2020

‘Barrowmeter’ organises sensitisation forum

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By Arfang Camara

The organisers of the newly launched platform called Barrowmeter, which is set up to allow citizens to hold the Barrow government accountable on the fulfillment of its promises made during the Coalition campaign, on Wednesday held a daylong sensitisation forum for youths.
The meeting which gathered artists, youth activists, journalists among others was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.

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The Young Men’s Christian Association in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) together with civil societies on Tuesday launched the Barrowmeter platform. The online platform allows citizens to be informed on yearly budget allocation, and how the allocated budget is spent and what is done with the remainder. It will question the measures in place to disallow misuse of public funds, and ensure that funds allocated are used for what they are meant for.

It will also highlight all the promises made by the Coalition Government and outline all targets met so as to also serve as a performance monitor that will give statistical and graphical detail on government execution.
Ali Cham, deputising for the Barrowmeter project manager, said that the initiative will bridge the trust gap between government and civilians, and allow space for public opinion through a comment box and “letter to the webmaster”.

That, he said, will provide government with public opinion on ongoing and expected projects and give the general populace detailed and accurate information concerning project progress, constraints encountered, funds allocated for project and total funds used upon project completion.

Samsudeen Yusuf from Nigeria’s Buharimeter, said that their meter was launched in July 2015 and it is an independent monitoring tool that enables Nigerians, scholars and political analysts around the globe to evaluate the implementation of the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), made in the prelude to the 2015 general elections.

“Like other election pledge monitoring initiatives around the globe (such as Obameter, Mackymeter and Morsimeter), Buharimeter evolves out of the concern to address the challenges of governance, civic participation and effective service delivery in Nigeria. Its central focus is to bridge the existing gap between the government and the governed, thereby facilitating a process through which democratic accountability becomes the norm,” he said.

By analysing data gathered through multiple sources and rating the performance of the government, Mr Yusuf said they hope to empower Nigerians to take an active role in making the APC-led Buhari government live up to its campaign promises.

Daouda Diaw of Mackymetre from Senegal, also said that their meter is a citizens’ tool that allows them to follow the progress of the implementation of the Macky government programmes as well as the execution. He added that their meter is not only set up to monitor and follow promises made by the current government but will continue work even after Macky steps down.

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