The Socio-Economic Research and Development Center (SERDEC), an NGO, has advocated a charter of demands by the people for engagement with the government and those aspiring to hold public offices.
SERDEC said this is imperative to engage them towards enhancing citizens’ inclusion in the budgetary process for transparency and accountability.
The Northcentral Coordinator of the NGO and Executive Director, Mr Tijani Abdulkareem, said this in Lokoja, Kogi capital, on Wednesday at the launch and dissemination of the North Central State Budget Transparency Survey Report 2022.
It was organized by SERDEC in collaboration with the State Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning.
SERDEC is working to strengthen socio-economic development and democratic governance through their programmes which advocate social reforms and supports global actions in promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Persecondnews reports that Kogi State came atops the budget transparency and accountability reform awards in the zone for the second time.
According to Abdulkareem, how the government spends public funds should be the concern of citzens.
“Citizens have the obligation to engage the government to be transparent in their budget and oversight responsibilities to citizens.
“They must create a charter of demands for those governing them as well as engage those aspiring to hold public offices to enhance citizens inclusion in the budgetary process,’’ the Executive Director said.
Abdulkareem, who commended stakeholders for a transparent budgetary and accountability process in the state, said, however, there is need for more improvement in the transparency and accountability of the state’s budgetary ecosystem.
According to the Coordinator, the crux of the stakeholders engagement is to encourage the body responsible for the budgetary process to motivate citizens engagement by incentivizing them to engender a sustainable fiscal budgeting process, hence, deepening access to effective budget participation.
Declaring the launch open, the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Asiri Idris, commended the organisers for their resilience in identifying gaps in the budgetary process and giving recommendations where necessary.
He said citizens should continue to look forward to dividends of democracy economically, noting that the 2016 fiscal sustainability strategy is still very much in place to sustain citizens inclusion and participation in the budgetary process.
In his good will message, the Chairperson, Kogi NGO Network (KONGONET), Idris Ozovehe, lauded the state for the feat in the North Central zone, assuring that the CSOs and NGOs in the state will always keep a tab on the decision makers to ensure the right thing is done.