Stakeholders in Kogi State on Monday said the presentation of budgets by the state government has become ordinary yearly rituals that have no effect on the living of the people.
The stakeholders made this known at a one-day budget summit organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Conflicts Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Foundation with support of Mac Arthur Foundation for stakeholders drawn from the State House of Assembly, media, civil society organisations and the civil service.
Speaking at the opening of the programme, the executive director of CHRCR, Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul, advocated more participatory and inclusiveness in budget preparations.
He called for the removal of the Kogi State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Hon. Paul Maiwada. He charged the state government to quickly reorganise the Budget and Planning Ministry for effective performance.
In his presentation, the lead speaker, Eze Onyekpere from Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Abuja, said development should be about the people. He urged citizens to own, drive and work for the success of budget and its implementation.
Onyekpere described budget as a work in progress but cited poor implementation, failure to abide by the financial regulations and bureaucracy as challenges bedeviling the successful implementation of budget.
He tasked the state government to make audit a key component in determining the successful implementation of past budgets.
In an opening remark, Hon. Haruna Idoko, Chairman Kogi State House of Assembly Committee on Budget, commended the Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution for their interest in government providing good governance.
He assured that efforts will be made to make the 2019 budget inclusive and participatory.