Group seeks citizens’ input in budget planning
Worried by the attitude of the federal and state governments in budget preparation, a global non-government organisation with prime focus on campaign against inequality, OXFAM, has called for the adoption of a participatory budgetary system in the country.
The group said participatory budgetary system was the key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
The Executive Director of OXFAM in Nigeria, Mr. Henry Ushie, who gave an overview of the organisation’s activities in the country at an advocacy meeting in Calabar, yesterday, stressed the importance of community participation at every stage of budget planning, implementation and evaluation.
He noted that communities were the centre stage of development and as such should have a say in budget planning if the needs of the various communities would be properly captured and addressed through budgetary provisions and implementation.
“OXFAM’s campaign against inequality in our society cannot be achieved if community inputs as it affects their needs and values are ignored,” he noted.
He pointed out that the organisation primarily focuses on budget, taxation and communities as the cornerstone of achieving SDGs.
The Chief Campaigner of Kebetkache Women Development Initiative, Madam Emem Okon, in her comments, urged communities to make themselves relevant at every stage of budget planning through advocacy, saying government initiates developmental projects to address specific needs of the society.
Okon stated that since budget is a strategic document meant to promote development, community views and needs should play an important role if the values and needs of any community would be properly addressed. According to her, failure to do this may result in the inability of government to properly initiate people oriented development projects.
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