Civil Society Organizations has expressed their willingness to partner with Kogi state House of Assembly on public hearing for the 2019 budget, to make it more inclusive and people oriented.
The center challenged the Assembly and the Kogi State Government to raise the ante in the state budget so it should not just be an annual ritual but people oriented document
It decried the copy and paste syndrome that has bedevilled the State budget in recent times ascribing it to laziness of civil servants.
At a budget summit organised by the Center for Human Rights and Conflicts Resolution (CHRCR), in Lokoja on Monday, the Executive Director of the Centre, Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul said beside the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, budget is the most important document that shapes the direction of every government at all level, as such, it should not be treated with levity.
He said the activities of the budget submit is hoped to assist stakeholders in budgetary process in Kogi State to make it more participatory and inclusive, particularly as preparation for 2019 budget commences so that relevant stakeholders will be involved before, during its passage and implementation.
“Every year, Nigerians hear of billions of naira budgeted for ministries, parastatals and other agencies of government. But at the end of the year, people are always at a loss as to where the money was invested.
“Budget that were described by executive in laudatory terms usually result in decreased standards of living for the average person.Accusations of selective implementation of budgets, late release of capital votes and disregard for the appropriation Act have been the norm”, Miliki expressed.
The CHRCR observed the different levels between budget defence and budget hearing appealling to the state legislators to involve credible CSOs in the next year budget draft or hearing for the impact of the budget to be felt positively by the beneficiaries.
In the key lecture, delivered by Eze Onyekupere (Esq) at the summit, the resource person noted that accountability and transparency remains the watch words, if a state budget is to perform, as drafted.
The resource person noted that the country have aburdant resources but lack of managerial ability has been our undoings, saying that “accountability and transparency, value for money are great cornerstones that drive development”.
The Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Haruna Idoko, representing Idah constituency commended the organiser and the resource person for expanding their knowledge into budgetary affairs, assuring that the lawmakers will surely involve the CSOs in the next budget hearing in order to ensure quality assement of the budget to the benefit of the people.