State and Local Government Budget Directors, Planning director and Community development officers in selected local councils have been trained on community needs identification through the community development plan template for grassroots engagement for development planning and fiscal budgeting.
The training which was held in Guyuk, headquarters of Guyuk Local Government Area, attracted officials from the state civil service and from Guyuk, Song, Fufore, and Mubi South local governments.
A participant, Haruna Ahmed of Planning, Research and Statistics, Mubi South Local Government, told newsmen on the second day of the workshop, “We’ve learnt about efficient ways of preparing budget, how to get down to the community and make the people tell us their priority needs for inclusion in the budget.
The workshop is a reawakening of our mind to the importance of community inclusion in the planning and budgeting processes.”
Speaking also in the perspective of their new learning, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Budget Department, Ministry of Finance, Muhammed Jingi, said, “The organizers of this workshop are reorienting us towards citizens budgeting. People in the grassroots have to be carried along in the preparation and implementation of budget. It should be seen as emanating from them.”
Gladys Dzarnah of Adamawa State Planning Commission, said, “We’ve been sensitized on bottom-top approach to budgeting. As a coordinating commission, we have the capacity to advise government. We will take up the open budget process with zeal and sell the idea. Participation is vital for development. Nobody who will use your development result should be bypassed in the process of developing the concept.”
According to Ahmed Dadi, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, “We’ve learnt how to involve citizens in the budgeting process.
As a ministry, we will get the director of budget of our 21 local government areas and pass the knowledge on the need to imbibe the culture of participatory budgeting. Budget is usually prepared by government and implemented by government without a chance for the people to participate. We must correct that.”
The government actors capacity building workshop in Guyuk which is part of PROACT Project implementation in Adamawa and Kebbi states, was funded by the European Union and implemented by OXFAM in Nigeria and Christian Rural And Urban Development Association Of Nigeria (CRUDAN).
The Governance & Influencing Coordinator for the project, Faleye Usman, said the workshop was meant to build government officials’ capacity for participatory budgeting and development planning to enhance their citizens engagement at the community level to ensure that government begins to prioritize citizens’ needs in budgeting processes, so as to deliver quality services that are aimed at eradicating poverty.
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