By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism, Coalition Association for Leadership, Peace Empowerment and Development, (CALPED) in collaboration with Budget Research and Development Policy Advocacy Africa and Ihifix Technology with support of Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) has urged Kaduna residents to engage government in the quest for good governance.
Mr. Ishaku Yusuf Goje of CALPED made the call during a one-day technical session citizens group capacity on budget analysis and Advocacy in preparation for the draft 2024 budget, in Kaduna at the weekend, said citizens must continue to engage the government in form of dialogue so as to get the dividends of democracy, even as the 2024 budget is underway.
Defining budget as an approximation of revenue and expenses over a specified future period, Goje said it is usually compiled and re-evaluated on a periodic arrangement.
He also opined that it is in recognition of the fact that citizens who are the main stakeholders are partners in the development engineering of the state,
stressing that involving stakeholders, such as CSOs will demonstrate that citizens’ engagement in the budgetary process would demystify the process and make the government accountable to the people.
Giving an overview of the event, Seth Luke said the program is to aimed to build citizens ‘s capacity on how to analyze the budget considering the fact that government gives opportunity to make recommendations after the the draft budget are being made public at the town hall meeting in Abuja.
Luke said, “basically, what we are doing here is just to build the capacity of citizens group on the budget processes and also to build their capacity on how to analyze the budget. You know that annually the government gives us the opportunity to make recommendations after the draft budget are being made public at the budget town hall meeting in Abuja so that this hearing is a way by which citizens can influence the state budget.
“So this will build our capacity around analysing the budget, each group on each mechanism will analyze it’s sectoral budget and also make sectoral recommendation so it won’t be a wholesome budget analysis but base on sector like the education sector we analyze it, the health we analyze it agriculture sector and also make recommendations based on their sector.
“We are are also reviewing the Kaduna state citizenships feedback app which is popularly known as the eyes and ears.
“The eyes and ears have been down for a while now and the new commissioner has interest in the eyes and ears. She wants to see that the eyes and ears app is functioning so that citizens can have a means of providing feedback to the government.”
One of the participants, Glory Yaoh from Open Government Youth Innovation Hub, said the event will help her see budgeting in proper perspectives.
Yaoh said, “this engagement is very striking because we are talking about budget planning advocacy and implementation of the budget. This engagement is going to help me to discharge my duties effectively by the understanding of the whole concept of budgeting.
“I never saw budget planning in this perspective. With this little exercise segmenting each priorities with a little amount of money that could not meet that particular need I now saw it that writing any budget is not just anything but critically thinking on how to allocate this finances to this sectors appropriately according to their priorities all at the means of meeting the needs of the people at the grassroot.” She said.