Starting from 2020 citizens of Akwa Ibom State will have more representation and participation in the state budgetary process. This is because the state government has inaugurated an expanded Citizens Budget committee
Speaking with stakeholders in Uyo, the state Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port, Mr. Akan Okon, , said that Citizens’ Budget represents global best approach in budgeting.
The event was attended by representatives from all MDAs having dealing with economic planning, statistic, budgeting, accounting, auditing and other finance related matters in the State, as well as representatives of various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), women and youth organisations.
Mr. Akan Okon thanked God for making the meeting possible and thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for his commitment to transparency and accountability in governance and ensuring that Akwa Ibom State, as part of the global community, keys into the Citizens’ Budget trend which, he maintained, has a propensity to impact the society positively.
The Commissioner observed that the purpose and composition of the gathering, already spoke volumes of the state government’s commitment to accountability.
He however called for further enlargement of the forum to include traditional rulers, community leader and other leaders of thought so that the society should have a buy-in into government programmes that will emanate from the process.
Earlier in his remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong, expressed hope that contributions from each front represented in the forum will produce a resourceful and positive in the 2020 budget process, towards the overall development of the State.
The Chairman of the Citizens’ Budget Committee, Pastor Nicholas Ekarika, thanked His Excellency, the Governor, for his approval for the State to embark on the new budget process which, he described as a bottom-top approach that will produce a citizens-owned budget that will reflect the aspirations of Akwa Ibom people.
Pastor Ekarika urged every participant to be frank and open to discussions to bring out ideas that could be sieved to produce projects that will ensure the success of the government.
The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Civil Societies Organisation (CSO), Mr. Harry Udoh, commended the State government for embarking the process that will ensure citizens’ participation in the decision making in the State.
He maintained that the call to for good governance with dividends that trickles down to the people, being measured by their involvement in decisions about their development is a global phenomenon, expressing confidence that the adoption of such process in Akwa Ibom State is indicative that the State Government has a listening ear for the people.
Others who spoke at the event includes Executive Directors of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton; Community Partners for Development, Nsekpong Udoh; Secretary General of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Prince Akaninyene Isidore; Chairman, Association of Village Youth Presidents, Felix Okon, representative of National Association of Evaluators, Idem Udoekong; Program Lead, Youth Alive Foundation, Kingsley Atang and several others from the both government and community fronts.