Kogi State Government has said the era when budget preparation was the exclusive preserve of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is gone, as it is now the exclusive preserve of the people.
At a stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja, yesterday, Governor Yahaya Bello noted that “the state now accords the highest priority to stakeholders’ brainstorming” on budget preparation.
Represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, the governor expressed satisfaction that the state, over the years, made progress in the budgeting process.
He added that the stakeholders’ engagement on budget helped the state’s success story and appreciated citizens of the state for always being part of the budget process.
“For the first time in the life of this administration, Kogi 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, programmes and providing alternatives that speak to issues affecting our people.
“The fact that we gather here yearly to hear from you, as raw as you feel them, demonstrates the state’s commitment to engender participatory governance in the state,” he said.
The world economy, of which the state is part, has, in recent years, taken tremendous heat from the effect of the lockdown era, Russia-Ukraine war, removal of petrol subsidy, insecurity and several other crises, leading to worsening economy, rising inflation, unemployment and poverty.
Bello urged collaboration that would lead to harvesting innovative ideas to stimulate production, deepen participatory governance and make life more meaningful for the people.
The governor thanked the critics of the policies and programmes of his administration, pointing out that it helped in adding unbelievable values to the services provided for the people.
Chairperson Kogi NGOs Network, (KONGONET), Idris Muraina, in his presentation, ‘Promoting Budget Transparency and Effective Stakeholders Engagement in Kogi State: A Call To Action’, described budget transparency and effective stakeholder engagement as two major pillars that serve as the cornerstone of good governance, accountability and sustainable development.
By fostering transparency and engagement, he pointed out, the culture of cultivating an environment of trust, inclusivity and collaboration leads to better outcomes for the people.