By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Kogi State House of Assembly has been calling d upon to improve on its constitutional oversight functions and make public its findings and must also enshrine the conduct of public hearing on Appropriation Bills.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of Second Annual Budget Summit organized by the Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation in Lokoja.
It was also resolved that the government needs to do more to open up the budgeting process by the active engagement of the citizen and groups.
The communique stated there was the urgent need for the Ministry of Budget and Planning and the Ministry of Finance to always provide detailed breakdown of Budget estimates to the public to guide discussions during the Budget passage/implementation process
Development issues such as Health, Agriculture, Education, Housing, transportation and Industrialization must be priorities in the 2020 Budget estimates as a new government takes off in January 2020 that the Media must improve on its engagement of the Budget process by doing more investigative journalism on issues around the Budget and its implementation processes which must include Cash Backing.
The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) documents must be made public always as they provide crucial information on the budget such as debt profile, exchange rates, and other assumptions .
There is need for the reduction in recurrent expenditure in the 2020 budget to allow for improvement in capital spending
The government and Civil Society must improve on the awareness creation and mobilization of the citizenry for effective engagement of the Budget and its implementation process.