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Kogi Puts People in Charge of Budgeting

The Kogi State Government has declared a departure from the traditional practice of budget preparation solely by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, asserting that it is now an exclusive domain of the people.

During a citizens’ engagement meeting on 2024 budget formulation held at the Edge Drive Hotel, Lokoja, Governor Yahaya Bello conveyed this shift on Tuesday. Represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, Bello expressed contentment with the state’s progress in the budgeting process, attributing the success to stakeholder engagement and citizen involvement in the budgeting process.

In his address, Bello commended the public for actively participating in the budgeting process, emphasizing the state’s recent accomplishment of ranking first in the North Central and as one of the best in the budget accountability index.

“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,” he stated. Bello praised the citizens for scrutinizing policies, offering alternatives, and contributing to a culture of participatory governance.

Highlighting the global economic challenges faced by the state due to factors such as lockdowns, the Russian-Ukraine war, fuel subsidy removal, and insecurity, Governor Bello called for collaboration to generate innovative ideas that would stimulate production and improve the well-being of the people.

Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, Chairperson of Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), presented on “Promoting Budget Transparency and Effective Stakeholders Engagement in Kogi State: A Call To Action.” He emphasized budget transparency and effective stakeholder engagement as crucial pillars for good governance, accountability, and sustainable development.

Muraina outlined the significance of budget transparency, including accountability, public trust, and effective resource allocation. He also underscored the importance of stakeholders’ engagement, citing inclusivity, participation, collaboration, co-creation, ownership, and sustainability as key factors.

As a call to action, Muraina advocated for the enactment of budget transparency laws and the strengthening of institutional capacity to promote transparency and effective stakeholder engagement in Kogi State.

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