By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Ogun State, Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun has stated that the 2019 budget by the previous administration was not designed to meet any transformation agenda of the present government.
Abiodun stated this at Ogun east senatorial district town hall meeting for the 2020 budget consultation held on Thursday in Ogun State.
He explained that the current 2019 budget prepared by the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun was obviously not designed with the building of a better future together, stating that the best use of budget was to deliver on campaign promises across the state.
He enjoined the people of the Ogun Central and Ogun West senatorial districts to also look forward to similar town hall meeting and be prepared to take maximum advantage of the platform and come out, in large numbers, to express their views and aspirations.
According to him, “This town hall meeting in Ogun east senatorial district is one in the series of three town hall meetings which will hold in all the three senatorial districts of our dear State as part of the processes towards the preparation for the 2020 fiscal year.
“The budget is a financial document prepared by the government or any other entity presenting its anticipated revenues and proposed expenditures for the coming financial year.”
Abiodun said, over the years, people usually gathered for the town hall meeting at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
He said, “the people were mobilized for the meeting from all the three Senatorial Districts, and, thereby making the journey uneasy for some stakeholders and impossible for some others.
“As a responsible, responsive and focused administration, we understand the stress and how it feels not to be part of the decision making.
“That situation puts, at a more disadvantage, our women and youths who form a higher percentage of our population and a vital segment for any sustainable development plan.
“In ameliorating these challenges, we have decided to take it a notch higher by organizing the town hall meeting in all the three senatorial districts of our dear state.
“On one hand, we are achieving Goals 10 and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that is, reduced Inequalities, and, partnership for the goals, respectively. “And, you will agree with me that these two Goals will greatly impact the successful implementation of government policies and programmes for the achievement of the other 15 Goals of the SDGs.
“We believe that, in doing this, our budget preparation will be more inclusive towards rekindling the hopes of our people and reawakening their confidence in their government.
“Therefore, it strengthens the bond between the government and the people Government and people becoming the two sides of the same coin, rather than two different entities.
“This is the partnership that drives sustainable development. Borrowing the words of one the greatest Political Scientists, Francis Fukuyama, virtually all economic activity in the contemporary world is carried out by a high degree of social cooperation.
“To demonstrate our commitment to this partnership, you will all recall that we requested that our Local Governments and communities select the primary schools, primary health-centres, and the roads they considered most important to attract immediate attention in each of the 236 wards across our dear State.
“I am delighted to note that some of these primary schools, health-centres and roads will attract immediate intervention, in line with the expressed priorities of the people. This is in addition to governments identified projects that will be spread across the three Senatorial Districts of our dear State.”
Also, the consultant to the Governor on Budget and Planning Mr. Olaoluwa Olabimtan, appreciates the Governor for dis-centralised 2020 budget town hall meeting, across the three senatoria district of the state.”
He said, the present administration is committed to good governance delivery.
He urged citizens of the state to support the government and Ministry of Budget and planning to contribute a meaningful impact to the 2020 budget preparatory.
His Royal Majesty, Oba, Dr. Sikiru Adetona Awujale of Ijebu Land represented by HRM Oba Yinusa Adekoya Dagbuwere of Idowa in a good will message from Ijebu traditional council, commended the Governor for taking budget stakeholders and town hall meeting outside the State capital.
He said this will give opportunity to the people at the grassroot to have input in the governance.