Group seeks community input in councils budget plan
A non-governmental organisation – Human Development Initiative (HDI) committed to grassroots development and policy reforms, yesterday implored individuals, groups, institutions and other community stakeholders to ensure they make their input in planning budgets for local councils.
\The group said only effective participation by community stakeholders can fast-track developmental programmes geared towards improving lives among rural dwellers.
Resource person, Prince Monday Eson, while delivering a lecture entitled, “Process in Local Government Budget preparation; The role of the community stakeholders”, at a town hall meeting organised by HDI in Okada, Edo State said the need for local council fiscal autonomy cannot be overemphasized, noting that in carrying out budgetary plans for councils, community participation is key for even and rapid social economic growth.
He said with the existing programmes geared at driving development at the local community, such as under the Local Government Empowerment Development (LEED) as well as Rolling-Plan where council officials visit communities to identify with the people so that their needs are met and needed projects provided, there are still vacuum to ensure that development at the grassroots is achieved, hence the need for local council fiscal autonomy.”
“Local councils should involve stakeholders or community representatives in drafting budgetary plan. The community must ensure the security of projects located in their area. They can involve the community vigilance group and the council can assist in the training of those to operate and maintain the water-pumping machine in the case of water projects.”
According to him, “That is how it had been done. The council will ask the community people at the grassroots what they want so that projects would be planned and done properly. The representatives of communities should meet with the legislative arm in the councils so that there will be a proper rolling- plan for future development and budget performance.”
HDI Media Officer, Alofun Tayo noted that strengthening community participation in local council budget implementation as well as monitoring of budgets for development is imperative for local council administration to enhance projects for community development.