By Fatima Muraina
The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Ondo state have applauded the Akeredolu administration for including them in the 2018 budget preparation in the state.
Speaking with The Hope shortly after the stakeholders meeting on the 2018 budget preparation in Akure, the state capital, the Executive Director of Kids and Teens Resource Centre, Mr Martins Falana described the project as a very good one which shows that the present government is trying to make its administration a transparent one.
Falana, who led one of the civil society organisations at the event, observed that the idea will put the needs of people in the community into consideration in the 2018 budget.
He noted that, it is one thing to show the figures and see that the budget is beautiful but it is another thing to make it work because people in the communities should be able to tell their needs.
According to him, there must have been a process started in June/July where people in each community would have been consulted to say whatever are their needs and put them together to form what would be used at the local government levels as budget and to form what they need at the state level.
He advised government to go back to the communities to get their interest or needs immediately after the present budget is passed to make it open and available to the people.
His words: “Whatever has been provided there let it go to our communities and sensitize them on what has been approved for the year 2018 budget for local governments to be able to fight for their rights”.
He called for a town hall meeting in the three senatorial districts for people at the communities to tell what they want, saying that there is a need for a participatory governance, to engage the communities.
Also, the Executive Director and founder, Gender Equality and the Girl Child Development Foundation, Pastor Mrs. Yinka Odedele was impressed with government’s decision to involve the Civil Societies in budget preparation for 2018.
Odedele said the idea will help in empowering the people on how they can ask questions on what is pertaining to the development of their communities.
“If we all work together, it will definitely be a reality, but all we are praying for is that people in power should do exactly what is in the budget for the people when it is eventually passed”, she said.
She urged government to always make use of civil societies who can take their messages to the communities at the grassroots.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Chris Kolawole in an interview said the stakeholders meeting was to get feedback from the people and will be improved upon subsequently to make it more comprehensive in the future.