Budgeting: Group urges government to strengthen institutions through strong laws
The Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) has called for expansion of government’s anti-corruption agencies, by co-opting Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the fight against corruption.This was part of its recommendations at a two-day training programme for CSOs on “Inclusive budget and Basic Economic Literacy,” with support from Oxfam, held at Umneak Hotels Ltd, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Participants were drawn from CSOs, media, community leaders, traditional institutions and Shadow Budget Groups, across Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Bayelsa and Rivers States.Recommending that government institutions should be strengthened through strong laws and good governance, group said: “Government and citizens must build strong institutions for a greater society. CSOs must intensify their efforts towards making people realise that power belongs to them, a factor, if well deployed during elections, through the media, lobbying and electoral justice should facilitate good governance for collective good.
“Civil Society actors must be steadfast and driven by passion to better the lots of society and be above pecuniary gains. Government should expand its anti-corruption agencies, such as, the Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau and Fiscal Responsibility Commission by co-opting CSOs in the fight against corruption.”
According to the communiqué, there should be a performance dashboard in every state for measuring fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability, and that government should seek a new and sustainable means of paying its debts and reduce borrowing.
The group also called for gender equity in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes, in such a manner, that will be beneficial to women and men. “Budget monitoring and evaluation should be an integral part of CSOs’ everyday activities to ensure that fiscal transparency on the part of government are implemented without hitches.
“Fiscal transparency and accountability should be introduced as a course of study in all secondary/ tertiary institutions to fast track the indoctrination of the concept among young people.”They observed that government institutions are weak and are not able to deliver their set goals, adding that CSOs are not doing enough to check the excesses of government as they became inactive after military rule in 1999.
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