The Enugu State Government has hosted the ‘Stakeholders Budget Forum’ for a One-day “Stakeholders Forum On The 2020 Budget/Fiscal Plan”.
The event which was held on 26th November, 2019 at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu was organized by the Ministry of Budget and Planning, Enugu State.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his keynote address said the purpose of the gathering is; “to consult with the major stakeholders in the formulation of the budget and towards it’s implementation knowing that in the world over, it’s the best practice to derive the budget from the people and thus, to be more inclusive in budget conception so that the people will take ownership from the inception to the implementation of the budget.”
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simeon Atuanya, the Governor noted that their meeting with the stakeholders in 2019 revealed that indeed, they are great partners and assured them that the interface with them will continue.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to build on this mutual relationship which hasn’t only helped in making the state safe, but ensured steady development in all we do.”
“In 2019, we tried to involve the rural communities in all that we did and we did this through our stakeholders (yourselves) by giving out five million naira (N5, 000, 000) grant to more than 400 communities in the state. The result of that exercise can’t be over emphasized and you can only appreciate this input when you visit the various communities to witness the quantum of development it has generated.”
“The year 2020 budget is currently being prepared and its under the leadership of our able Commissioner for Budget and we feel that you as our major stakeholders, should be invited to make input into the production of our final plan so that you can become not only part of the process, but own the process through adequate monitoring and evaluation,” Prof Atuanya said.
The commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. Ugwunta David in his earlier remark said the state government approved the ‘The Stakeholders Budget Forum’ as it is in line with the World Bank State Exco transparency, accountability and sustainability programme to strengthen fiscal transparency and accountability in governance and in line with international best practices in budget preparations through a ‘bottom-up’ approach.
“His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in furtherance to the state government’s commitment to an open, transparent and inclusive governance approved the 2020 Budget Stakeholders forum for an all inclusive participatory budget preparation.”
“This exercise will in no doubt, reinforce the governments’ effort to a healthy and sustainability budgetary process.”
The Commissioner also stress that; “Since the inception of this administration, the Governor has factually brought in all inclusive governance to the doorstep of all citizens of Enugu State.
“This was achieved by making government reside with the people through popular, communal and group participation in policy formulation, project identification and harnessing of contributions from all relevant stakeholders,” Dr. Ugwunta said.
Talking about the performance of the 2019 budget, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Ugwu Casmir said the state has achieved over 102% in recurrent expenditure but because of the electioneering period and the rainy season, not much was achieved in the capital expenditure but right now, after the election and with the dry season setting in, he’s confident that a lot will be achieved in the capital budget.
“Between January to May, not much was done but right now, we have actually re-engineered to deliver on capital projects. Like, if you go to Ikem-Neke, there’s a very big bridge of over 500 meters that was done there, the government is tackling the Nkalagu-Ikem-Neke road, there are projects going on in all parts of the state and we are hoping to achieve over 70% in capital project.”
Highlights of the event was; an insight into what the forum stands for, a quick rundown on how budget is prepared and an interactive session.
Present at the event were; various commissioners, Traditional rulers, PGs of various communities, members of the civil society and the press.