The RBF’s initiative is commendable, as the document, seems to be futuristically situated, though with some gaps, by my organization’s opinion, tabulated below:
On 1.2.1 and 1.2.2, which is about program’s result and exploring innovation, community end-users could have been connected along with the “inputs and outcomes model”, which sounds (strategically) unique. Such could have been reinforced in section(s) 3.6 and 3.7. Explicitly speaking, Africa’s mis-governance conundrum revolves around the mentality that “government” is supreme, hence, people at the helm are equally supreme, even above institutions and systems that bunkumizes the end users vis a vis the demand side because of Africa’s superlative leadership approach, democratically or otherwise that delegitimizes the people that owns democratic power… Therefore, Africa’s institutions, such as AfDB, should pragmatically evolve a strategy, where communities and grassroots’ end users of governance are interlock with emerging concepts, trends and development’s blueprint to salvage a section of Africa from governance champions’ psychosomatic disease. In view of this, data on audit and information accessibility in the draft could have been placed side by side for outcome harvesting, even through section 5.2.1 of the monitoring and evaluation action points.
Further, it was difficult to situate 5.2.1 with PPPs and budgetary projections of some countries against the RBF’s template that should be structured to marry any benefitting country’s expenditure plans, whichever, in the short, medium or long-term basis, either, through envelopes system or zero-based budgetary architecture. Let us cite two examples here:
- In 2014, there was a contract for the upgrading of 15KM Section of East-West Road from Port Harcourt (Eleme Junction) to Onne Junction in Rivers State, Nigeria, awarded by Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to Mssrs Reynolds Construction (Nigeria) Limited for the sum of N43,869,381,730.23 (Naira) with a 18months completion period. Source of the funding for that project was AfDB/2014 Appropriation/SURE-P, and regrettably, as we speak, commuters are groaning, spending multiple man- hours to transit through this road (ordinarily, shouldn’t take more than 15minutes). So, with AfDB mentioned here and the community end-users not involved in this contract or the evaluation process at understanding where AfDB’s funding/grant/loan begins or stops in this (failed?) contract, how does the Bank help governance in Africa? Curiously, how do ordinary Africans dissect the fact that the Bank may not want to be pro-poor or pro-communities, since contributory funding for the Bank comes from countries, such as, Nigeria… This can be addressed by this proposed document.
- In 2014, a contract, which was, for expansion of Abuja-Keffi Expressway and Dualisation of Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi Road awarded to Mssrs China Harbour Engineering Company Limited for USD 542,144,047.29, with a loan from China Exim Bank and completion period of 36 months, wrapped in the cubicles of bureaucratic diplomacy…Should Africa’s situation with China’s interest be the same with AfDB? If not, let your RBF’s concept bridge these gaps.
In conclusion, we commend the team that has developed the document, they are eggheads indeed… Other points that we could have raised centers around CES’s management action plan, sustainability and minimum standard and matters of PPPs (6.6), among others, hopefully, which other actors may raise…
Accept our best of regards.