The Kogi State Government says the era when the preparation of the State budget remains the exclusive preserve of Ministries, Departments and Agencies is gone as it is now the exclusive preserve of the people.
Governor Yahaya Bello made the disclosure at the occasion of stakeholders town hall meeting held at the Edge Drive Hotel Lokoja, says the State now accords the highest priority to stakeholders brainstorming on budget preparation.
Governor Bello who was represented by the Commissioner For Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, expressed satisfaction that the State has over the years made progress in the budgeting process.
He added that the stakeholders engagement on budget has helped the State in recording the success story, expressed appreciation to citizens for always being part of the budget process.
”For the first time in the life of this administration, Kogi State came first in the North Central and one of the best in the budget accountability index. We must stay the course so that we can become better in the period ahead”.
”Let me therefore commend you all for always interrogating our policies, programs and providing alternatives that speak to issues affecting our people “.
“The fact that we gather here annually to hear from you as raw as you feel them, demonstrate the commitment of the State to engender participatory governance in the State “.
While noting that the world economy for which the State is part of has in the last few years taken tremendous heat from the effect of lock down era, Russia-Ukraine war, removal of fuel subsidy, insecurity and several other crisis, leading to worsening economy, rising inflation, unemployment and poverty.
Gov. Bello urged for collaboration that would lead to harvesting innovative ideas that will stimulate production, deepen participatory governance and make life more meaningful for the people.
The Governor thanked the critiques of the policies and programs of his administration, pointing out that it helped in adding unbelievable values to the services provided for the people.
Gov. Bello assured of better and greater years ahead for the State, assuring that the incoming administration will continue to tap from the in-depth knowledge of the grassroots, experience and expertise.
In a presentation, Promoting Budget Transparency and Effective Stakeholders Engagement in Kogi State: A Call To Action, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, Chairperson Kogi NGOs Network, (KONGONET), described budget transparency and effective stakeholders engagement as two major pillars that serves as the cornerstone of good governance, accountability and Sustainable development.
He pointed out that by fostering transparency and engagement, the culture of cultivating an environment of trust, inclusivity and collaboration leading to better outcomes for the people of the State.
The Chairperson of KONGONET advocated budget transparency and it’s significance, mentioned accountability, public trust, effective resource allocation as importance of budget transparency.
Similarly, he mentioned inclusivity and participation, collaboration and co-creation, ownership and sustainability as some importance of stakeholders engagement in the budgeting process.
He concluded by calling on the enactment of budget transparency laws, strengthening institutional capacity as call to actions towards Promoting budget transparency and effective stakeholders engagement in the State.