CSOs, media strategise on 2022 budget preparations

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 Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and journalists on Friday developed strategies to effectively participate in the preparation of the 2022 Budget in Kaduna State.

The CSOs are the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace Empowerment and Development (CALPED), Budget Research and Development Policy Advocacy Centre (BREDPAC), Open Kaduna Radio and Ground Zero Radio programme.

Mr Yusuf Goje of CALPED said at the dialogue with relevant stakeholders and government officials in Kaduna that the effort was to disaggregate citizens’ demand for effective engagement in the 2022 budget preparations.

Goje explained that the engagement, supported by UK-funded Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), was to strengthen open budget commitment of the Kaduna Open Government Partnership.

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“This is critical for the CSOs, media, relevant planning offices, and officers of the State House of Assembly to separate citizens’ demands according to the sectors for inclusion into the 2022 budget.

“It also enables us to articulate our findings of past budget releases to engage the state government ahead of the Budget Town Hall Meeting and Public Hearing on the 2022 budget.

“The meeting also enables us to engage the government actors on the Citizens Accountability Report of the State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Sustainability programme,” he said.

The State Team Lead of PERL, Mr Adejor Abel said that the governance programme was providing technical support for citizens to hold the government to account in the governance process.

Abel said that for sustainability, PERL was supporting accountability mechanisms in the state to use evidence of budget releases to engage the budget processes for improved performance.

“PERL will continue to partner with accountability platforms to improve governance process and citizens participation in the budget circle,” he said.

Mrs Lida Yakubu, Deputy Director Budget, Planning and Budget Commission, commended the CSOs and media for the initiative to strengthen citizens participation in the budget process.

Yakubu said that the government was working hard to make the budget processes more open and transparent for citizens to engage and ask relevant questions for improved budget performance.

“Call circular for budget preparation has already been sent to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and training of respective officers had been conducted on the budget preparations.

“So, this is the right time for citizens to engage the budget process.

“We are currently waiting for the Community Development Charter, a written document containing the development needs of communities listed in order of communal priority to send to the respective MDAs for consideration into the budget.

“This will increase the space for citizens to engage in the 2022 budget,” she said.

Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, the General Manager, Kaduna State Community and Social Development Agency, promised to work with CSOs and the media to create the needed awareness on the agency’s programmes and interventions.

Abdullahi said that the main goal was to expand socio-economic infrastructure for livelihood and strengthening of small and medium enterprises in vulnerable households in rural communities. (NAN)

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