Chapter two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “the fundamental principle of state policy is to provide for the welfare and security of Nigerians,” One of the principal instruments for the actualization of this goal is the design and implementation of an annual budget at the Local, State and Federal levels where government espouses its programmes in line with clearly defined goals and deliverables in the interest of the citizens In this light therefore, the citizens in whose mandate the legitimacy of government rests, look up to it because their livelihoods and future depends on it. However, the design and implementation of budgets in Nigeria has become annual rituals for reading of figures, as well as the fanfare that goes with presentations to the parliament. An analysis of budget implementation in Nigeria in terms of impact, shows that our budgets over the years have failed to meet the yearnings and expectations of citizens who ordinarily hoped for better welfare through the people they elected.
A cursory look at the 2012 budget as presented by President Goodluck Jonathan reveals that about one third of the 4.7 trillion naira budget is allocated to national security which presents an unfortunate scenario, whereby human security issues play second fiddle. Thus, emphasis on the provision of employment opportunities for the unemployed and restive youths, provision of infrastructural facilities to address the challenges posed by rural-urban drift, provision of quality education, quality health care for the people, as well as ensuring participation of citizens in the governance process are far from being realized within the context of the MDGs.
The Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP), sees the social and political insecurity that are currently bedeviling the nation as partly a result of the failure of leadership in terms of meeting the fundamental principles of state policy which emphasized the need for government to provide for the welfare of citizens including their security.
The participation of the Civil Society in the budgetary process, is supposed to provide a sound basis for the design and implementation of a people centered budget. Unfortunately, this has not been given the desired attention and recognition by government, thereby defeating the fundamental objectives in which people’s participation in governance is paramount. Hence, we are increasingly witnessing situations whereby the priority of the people is at variance with that of the same government they elected.
In the light of foregoing, CAPP calls for a radical departure from a budgetary process that places national security far and above human security, as government must be alive to its responsibility in terms of making adequate provision and protection for the people. As the National Assembly take steps to review the Constitution, Nigerians must rise and collectively demand that the provisions of chapter two in the Constitution as it relates to the directive principles of state policy are made justiceable, so as to empower all citizens to seek redress in the event that government fails to live up to expectation in the provision of basic social services.
Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP) is a non- governmental, non-religious, non-partisan and membership organization based in Abuja, with branches in: Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau and Federal Capital Territory.
Being the text of a press statement signed by Kyauta A.S. Giwa Executive Director,CAPPNo tags for this post.