By Ameer Obansa, Lokoja
The Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflicts Resolution, (CHRCR) Comrade Idris Miliki, has called for the immediate sack of the Kogi State Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Hon. Paul Maiwada.
While lamenting the commissioner has not been forth coming in serious state matters Miliki noted that the budget office has over the years failed to meet the purpose of delivering acceptable and implementable budget in the state.
Aside the sack of the Budget Commissioner, stakeholders at a one day budget summit organized by Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Foundation with support of Mac Arthur Foundation held in Lokoja, also called on government to quickly reorganize the Budget and Planning Ministry for effective performance.
While frowning at the non chalant attitude of the ministries of finance, and budget whom he noted have not paid greater attention to budgeting process, Miliki tasked the state government to take more than a passing interest in preparation of the state budgets.
The ED who maintained that budget and its process must be inclusive and participatory, called on citizens of the state to make input in budget making process of the state as well as to monitor its implementation.
He said people are always at a loss when budget usually described as laudable by the executives, does not translate to improve living standard of the citizenry, accusing the government of selective implementation of budget, late release of capital votes and disregard for the appropriation act as the norm in the state.
Earlier in his presentation, the lead speaker, Eze Onyekpere Esq, while stressing that development should be about the people, urged citizens to own, drive and work for the success of budget and its implantation.
While describing budget as a work in progress Onyekpere cited poor implementation, not abiding by the financial regulations and bureaucracy as challenges bedevilling the successful implementation of budget.
The lead speaker tasked the state government to make audit a key component in determining the successful implementation of past budgets and advocated for training of personnel and providing the political will to the state Auditor General in carrying out its responsibility.
In an opening remarks, 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 and assured that the efforts would be made to make the 2019 budget inclusive and participatory.
Panelists and other stakeholders at the summit called for a review of the budget process, making the public account committee of the state house of assembly functional to enable it Carry out oversight functions as well as subjecting the budget from its inception and implementation to public scrutiny.
Participants equally enjoyed the media to dig deep into the making and implementation of budget in the state for efficiency.
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