The Nasarawa State Government says inputs from citizens will form the basis for the development of the 2022 budget.
The Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Mr. Haruna Ogbole, stated this at a town hall meeting to get citizens’ input ahead of the 2022 budget on Wednesday in Lafia.
Ogbole said the government had adopted the bottom-top approach in its budgeting process, hence participatory budgeting.
He said that previous editions of the meeting had helped government to have a realistic budget.
“This systematic process allows the people to identify, discuss and prioritise public spending, projects and to make real decisions about how funds are utilised.
“It will enable the government to embark on real projects that the citizens need and not what the government assume that they want,” he said.
The commissioner said the citizens’ budgeting otherwise known as participatory budgeting, would make governance more transparent and accessible to the common man.
He noted that the people’s voice must be heard and incorporated into the state plans and actions.
The commissioner said further consultative meetings would be held across the three senatorial zones to get wider inputs from stakeholders.
In separate remarks Accountant-General Mr. Zakka Yakubu. And Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mr. Emmanuel Alidzi, encouraged participants to contribute earnestly.
Yakubu said inputs from participants would help government to understand some of the challenges in the state and prepare a community-based budget.
On his part, Alidzi explained that the meeting was an opportunity for stakeholders to have their say in governance by making input in the budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting were drawn from Civil Society Organisations, community and faith-based organisations, youth and women associations as well as the media.
Some participants, Salisu Ibrahim and Esson Yerima, representing the Youth Council and farmers respectively, lauded the state government for the initiative saying it had given them a sense of belonging. (NAN)