CS Groups in Kaduna appraises Citizens influence on 2024 Budget
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Civil Society groups in Kaduna on Tuesday, held a budget post-mortem to assess Citizens influence on the State’s 2024 approved budget.
Various, Accountability Mechanisms in the State had in December 2023, contributed their inputs to the State draft budget to address citizens concerns during a Town Hall meeting organized by the state Planning and Budget Commission.
The post-mortem meeting which was organized by the Open Government Partnership (Kaduna State Chapter) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Strengthening Participatory Budgeting Process, was aimed at evaluating how much of citizens inputs into different sectors were captured in the approved budget.
The meeting also provided insight into how civil society and media can effectively engage government with evidence from the budget and generate strategies for tracking 2024 budget implementation to advocate and sustain releases for each sector.
In his remarks, CS Co-chair, OGP Kaduna, Mubarak Abdulganiyi, noted that the postmortem was not merely a reflection on the past but a forward-looking exploration into the nuances of governance landscape.
According to him, “The approval of the 2024 budget represents more than just financial allocations; it is a testament to the values we hold dear – values that affirm the power of informed citizens in shaping the trajectory of our state.
“Our focus on the post-mortem of the budget is a testament to our shared commitment to learning from the past, refining our strategies, and ensuring that the budgetary process becomes a more transparent and participatory endeavor in the future. Through the lens of the OGP, we embrace the principles of co-creation, collaboration, and open dialogue to dissect the intricacies of the approved budget.
“As we delve into the technicalities of the budget, let us not lose sight of the broader impact it has on the lives of our citizens. The budget is not just a financial document; it is a social contract that shapes the delivery of public services, infrastructure development, and the overall well-being of our communities.”
He appreciated Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), Partnership for Learning for All (PLANE), LAFIYA, Save the Children, Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), Ihifix and CALPED for supporting the engagement.
State Lead of PERL, Abel Adejor, on his part said it is important that the budget document is designed to address citizens concerns.
Adejor noted that once concerns of citizens from community level can influence a budget and also implemented at the local level, it will bring service delivery and inclusion to people at that level which means their expectations are met.
“We have been supporting partners to engage the budget process and we will continue to give our support because this will bring effective service delivery to citizens at the local level to ensure there’s inclusiveness and equal participation in disbursement of budget.
“We applaud the Planning and Budget Commission because they have been trying and we hope that the Open Government Partnership as well as all the accountability mechanisms will be able to; through the point of contact, engage them to ensure that we improve on whatever we have been doing particularly for effective service delivery of citizens.”