Inclusive Governance: Gombe Engages Citizens On 2022 Budget Preparation

Gombe state Government on Thursday held a stakeholders’ meeting with traditional rulers, community leaders, trade unions, faith-based and non- governmental organisations to harness their inputs in order to ensure an all-inclusive budgeting process.

The engagement is part of preparatory process ahead presentation of the 2022 appropriation Bill to the state House of Assembly.

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and sowm of his cabinet members during stakeholders’ engagement for 2022 budget

Governor Inuwa Yahaya while declaring open, the public engagement, said that since his administration came on board, he made it a policy that the views of the citizens will continue to remain fundamental in policy formation and implementation because of the firm belief that the present administration in the State belongs to the people.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya observed that since budget is a projection of financial resources and how such can be applied for the benefit of the people, his administration together with the legislature, the judiciary and the people of the State have over the years maintained a clear understanding on how to work in synergy towards making the State work for everyone.

“The 2022 townhall meeting on budget is the 3rd by this administration and we are determined to maintain the tradition we have entrenched in getting the input of all stakeholders in order to ensure ownership and this also goes to demonstrate our commitment to transparency, accountability and good governance .

Cross section of stakeholders at the meeting

“You all know as mentioned by the chairman of Appropriations committee, we were ranked number one in terms of creating enabling environment for business to thrive and in transparency and accountability we ranked 7th now instead of where we were by 2019 when we came in”.

He challenged the stakeholders meeting to discuss on what is most beneficial to the people of the State as his administration will not hesitate to implement the resolutions reached at the engagement meeting.

“As at the end of October when we took indices in terms of knowing the performance of our 2021 budget, we clocked 68 percent by the end of the year, I know we shall reach more than 70 percent, 70 percent in any examination is an A, so we are an A team”.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya however stressed that the Gombe State Government under his leadership is committed towards bequeathing a State that its citizens will be proud of through an all inclusive budget preparation and implementation.

“You will all recall that I had promised upon assumption of office that my administration is committed to ensuring that our people enjoy the dividends of democracy via our focus on the delivery of social service.

“Our priorities are Health, Education, Water supply, Infrastructure and Rural Development. We have consistently maintained this focus and your input during past consultations has guided our march towards making Gombe Great again”.

He said the ten year development plan conceived and being implemented by his administration is the first since the creation of Gombe State and it encapsulates all the 13 human development indices of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

“Without planning you cannot allocate resources, you may misallocate or even misappropriate but with proper planning and control you know where you are heading to and what you want to achieve”.

The Governor encouraged communities across the State and Stakeholders at the budget engagement meeting who are yet to go through the State ten year development plan to do so in order to appreciate the unwavering commitment of the government towards a systematic development approach.

The Governor used the stakeholders’ meeting to fault the rationale behind spending a whooping 5 billion naira by the immediate past administration to build a Conference Centre, with no bearing on the lives of the people, especially when there are alternative halls for citizens to converge and discuss issues of State and national importance.

“I still can’t understand, at a time when the Northeast zone was facing security challenges, you were building a conference centre that nobody will occupy
when the whole of the North East geopolitical zone was facing security challenges and its associated consequences.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya said even upon the completion of the conference facility, the contract for the supply of furnitures that would have facilitated the ease of utilizing it was yet to be done, disclosing that the State may need to expend over five hundred million naira to procure such items benefiting the status of the edifice.

According to him, if his administration does not borrow to complete such abandoned projects, they will come to waste and the people will not derive any benefits from them.

He said his administration was strategising on gathering what was wasted and maximise it for the benefit of the people.

The Speaker, Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo thanked Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for initiating the stakeholders’ meeting on budget preparation.

He said the stakeholders’ engagement on the preparation of the 2022 budget estimates will go a long way in aggregating the views of representatives of the citizens for an all-inclusive implementation of policies and programmes.

In his goodwill message, Chairman House Committee on Appropriations,.Hon Ali Baba Manu said the governor’s approach towards developmental projects at the grassroots eases their legislative tasks in their respective constituencies.

He pledged absolute support of his committee in ensuring that the document captures what is required.

The Gombe State Commissioner of finance and economic development, Muhammad Gambo Magaji assured citizens of the State that just like the 2021 budget proposal, the present administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya will equally give heed to submissions contained in the 2022 budget.

In his address of welcome, the Special Adviser on Budget Planning and Development Partners Coordination, Dr. Ishiyaku Mohammed had earlier in an address of welcome said the stakeholders’ meeting on budget preparation was a clear demonstration of the Governor’s disposition to transparency and accountability in governance.

He said consistent physical presence of Governor Inuwa Yahaya in the Townhall Meeting for the preparation of the State presupposes that the Governor is a champion of good governance, transparency and accountability.

 

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