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Kogi lauds citizens participation in budget preparation

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The Kogi State Government has said that the era of budget preparation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies is gone as it is now the exclusive preserve of the people.

The state governor, Yahaya Bello, stated this on Tuesday while speaking at citizens’ engagement on 2024 budget formulation meeting held at the Edge Drive Hotel, Lokoja.

Bello, represented by the Commissioner For Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, expressed satisfaction that the state has over the years made progress in the budgeting process.

He added that the stakeholders’ engagement on budget has helped the state record the success story while expressing appreciation to citizens for always being part of the budget process.

He said, “For the first time in the life of this administration, Kogi State 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, and programmes and providing alternatives that speak to issues affecting our people.

“The fact that we gather here annually to hear from you as raw as you feel them, demonstrates the commitment of the state to engender participatory governance in the state “.

Noting that the world economy of which the State is part has in the last few years taken tremendous heat from the effect of lock down era, Russian Ukraine war, removal of fuel subsidy, insecurity and several other crisis, leading to worsening economy, rising inflation, unemployment and poverty.

Bello called for collaboration that would lead to harvesting innovative ideas that would stimulate production, deepen participatory governance and make life more meaningful for the people.

The Governor thanked the critiques of the policies and programs of his administration, pointing out that it helped add unbelievable value to the services provided for the people.

He assured of better and greater years ahead for the State, assuring that the incoming administration will continue to tap from the in-depth knowledge of the grassroots, experience and expertise.

In a presentation, Promoting Budget Transparency and Effective Stakeholders Engagement in Kogi State: A Call To Action, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, Chairperson Kogi NGOs Network, (KONGONET), described budget transparency and effective stakeholder engagement as two major pillars that serve as the cornerstone of good governance, accountability and Sustainable development.

He pointed out that by fostering transparency and engagement, the culture of cultivating an environment of trust, inclusivity and collaboration leads to better outcomes for the people of the State.

The Chairperson of KONGONET advocated budget transparency and its significance, mentioning accountability, public trust, and effective resource allocation as the importance of budget transparency.

Similarly, he mentioned inclusivity and participation, collaboration and co-creation, ownership and sustainability as some important of stakeholders’ engagement in the budgeting process.

He called for the enactment of budget transparency laws, strengthening institutional capacity as a call to action towards Promoting budget transparency and effective stakeholder engagement in the State.

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