INGRA Calls For Increased Allocations to Social Sector in 2024 Kogi Budget

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  • Citizens and stakeholders must lessen their “non constitutional” expectations on elected lawmakers.

A civil society organization, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), has called for increased allocations to the social sector of the 2024 draft budget to cater for issues that affect vulnerable citizens in Kogi state.

Executive Director of INGRA, Hamza Aliyu, made the call at the a two day retreat for state legislators and civil society on participatory and inclusive governance in Lokoja on Friday.

Aliyu called for a reduction in the budget allocation to the administration sector to free up funds for other social sector such as education, health, environment and agriculture.

Participants at the retreat agreed that poor funding has been one of the major challenges impeding the State House of Assembly’s performance.

They submitted that citizens and stakeholders must lessen their “non constitutional” expectations on elected House of Assembly members as the current status quo was distractive and unsustainable for the state development

They identified weak institutional capacity, low resource allocations and deficit in public trust as some of the challenges facing the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The participants, however, observed that some of the standing committees of the House of Assembly such as the public petitions and public accounts committees have not been as effective as expected.

The House of Assembly was tasked to establish a civil society desk to improve their engagement and access to information on the activities of the House.

The civil societies called on the House of Assembly to commence amendments of the Child Rights, Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) and the Disability Office Laws to address gaps in their implementations.

Speaking at the end of the retreat, the Speaker, Rt Hon Aliyu Umar Yusuf expressed the commitment of the current Assembly in Kogi State to ensure its development.

He noted that the Assembly will always collaborate with other arms of government to move the state forward, noting that the retreat has further exposed them to more legislative rudiments.

Participants of the retreat appreciated The Civil Society Situation Room and PLAC for the support and urged for more such engagements.

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