The Borno Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning on Thursday organised a townhall meeting for public input on 2022 budget.
Welcoming the participants, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Hajiya Maryam Shehu, said the development was part of many reforms being undertaken by Gov. Babagana Zulum’s administration to make the budget process transparent and in tune with global best practice.
“It is also in line with the policy thrust of the present administration which emphasises transparency, accountability and sustainability.
“Gone are the days when budgets are done without recourse or consultation with the people the government is expected to serve,” Shehu said.
She noted that the ministry has opened a website in line with public finance management and that the budgets of 2017 to 2021 have been uploaded for citizens to assess.
The Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Adamu Lawan, said the collective inputs would help in coming up with a budget that would address the yearnings and aspirations of the people in line with present reality.
“This occassion is apt and timely taken into consideration the economic effect of COVID-19 pandemic, Borno Government resettlement programme of displaced communities.
“Borno State 2021 budget proposals will be prepared with total collaboration of our various community groups and inline with the 25-year Development Plan and 10-year Strategic Master plan framework.
“In line with his Excellency’s transparency and accountable governance, the ministry constituted a state working group with representatives of civil society organisations and labour to enable continuous involvement of the citizens in budget preparation and compilation processes,” Lawan said.
The commissioner expressed optimism that at the end of the meeting, the citizens needs aimed at improving livelihood and welfare would be captured for integration into 2022 budget.
“I want to assure you that your inputs during this meeting will count and will go a long way in improving the budget process of our dear state,” Lawan said.
Gov. Babagana Zulum represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Isa Marte, said that it was part of his administration’s policy to get the input of the people for the budget.
“This will make the budget the people’s budget,” he said.
The governor pointed out that 2021 budget accorded lion share to education and health, adding that the two sectors are critical to development as positive development can only be achieved with a healthy and educated society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the groups who presented inputs at the meeting included Borno chapter of Network of Civil Society Organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Union of Journalists’ (NUJ), National Youth Council, and Joint Association of People Living with Disability. (NAN)