Plateau residents demand budget accountability
    By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos
    Residents of Plateau have tasked the government to make public state budget with a view to building confidence in governance, accountability, efficiency and transparency in the
    management of public funds.
    Speaking at a one-day workshop tagged ‘Understanding the Concept of Open and Participatory Budget for Strengthening Community Engagement in Electoral Process”, the State Director of Budget, Ministry Of Finance, Mr. Jonglapson Suleiman, said the forum will be useful if individual opinion is considered key to development by various stakeholders, makers and implementers of the budget to promote development in the entire State.
    He said an open and participatory budget, ensures that citizens and communities are carried along in all areas and processes establishing budgetary provisions to represent the need and aspirations of the people and not to the elected.
    “Such a process provides room for citizens to make input, track and monitor implementation of the budget in their respective communities and provide feedback to the relevant institutions and agencies of government for adjustment and reviews in order to suit citizens’ demands and desire”.
    Mr Suleiman said, monitoring of government budget helps citizens to hold government accountable for the effective use of public resources and also serve as disincentive for officials who misappropriate funds and as well reducing the likelihood of corruption.
    However, participants at the event demands that the yearly public hearing by the Plateau State House of Assembly needs to involve citizens to allow for more inputs and broader participation in the process, adding that the present process and practice should be
    reviewed and be encompassed.
    Earlier in his remark, the Acting Executive Director, Actionaid and Community Action For Popular Participation (CAPP), Mr. Nelson Ananze, said that the need to motivate citizens, participants in government budgetary is also supported by the BBC Media Action, in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), aimed at
    strengthening citizens’ engagement in the electoral process, taking
    into cognizance the engagement of  women, youths and persons living
    with disability.
    Ananze said the enlightenment is also carried out in other parts of the country such as Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Lagos, Imo and Akwa- Ibom states.