From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflicts Resolution, Comrade Idris Miliki, has demanded for immediate sack of the Kogi State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Hon. Paul Maiwada for laxity in handling the affairs of his Ministry.
Aside this call for the removal of the Budget Commissioner, stakeholders at a one day budget summit organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Foundation with support of Mac Arthur Foundation held in Lokoja, also called on government to quickly re-organise the Budget and Planning Ministry for effective performance.
According to Comrade Miliki, the budget office has over the years failed to meet the purpose of delivering acceptable and implementable budget in the state.
He described budget and its process as inclusive and participatory and called on citizens of the state to make input in budget making process of the state as well as to monitor its implementation.
Miliki said people are always at a loss when budget usually described as laudable by the executives, does not translate to improve living standard of the citizenry, accused the government of selective implementation of budget, late release of capital votes and disregard for the appropriation act as the norm in the state.
Earlier in his presentation, the lead speaker, Eze Onyekpere, said development should be about the people, and urged citizens to own, drive and work for the success of budget and its implementation.
The lead speaker tasked the state government to make audit a key component in determining the successful implementation of past budgets, advocated for training of personnel and providing the political will to the state auditor general in carrying out it responsibility.
In an opening remarks, Hon. Haruna Idoko, Chairman, Kogi State House of Assembly Committee on Budget commended the Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution for their interest in providing good governance, assured that efforts would be made to make the 2019 budget inclusive and participatory.
Panelists and other stakeholders at the summit called for a review of the budget process, making the public account committee of the state house of assembly functional to enable it arry out oversight functions as well as subjecting the budget from it inception and implementation to public scrutiny, with the media asked to dig deep into the making and implementation of budget in the state.