The plateau state ministry of budget and economic planning in preparation for the 2023 budget holds a Town Hall meeting with various members of different communities in all local government areas in the central zone to create a more people-centred 2023 budget.
In attendance were traditional rulers, community leaders heads of various government parastatals, youth leaders as well as the general public.
In a speech delivered by MR. LAMBA PETER BOT the permanent secretary of the ministry welcomed everyone to the occasion and stated that he cannot over-emphasise the importance of such a special interface between the Government and its citizens in the budgeting preparation process.
He further stated that it is a fact that the country’s dependable source of income has fallen as a result both government and the citizens are expected to look inward and find a new way of generating income and only then will Government be able to fulfil it’s duties to citizens.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY MINISTRY OF BUDGET AND ECONOMIC PLANNING MR. LAMBA PETER BOT ON THE OCCASION OF THE TOWN HALL MEETING ON CITIZENS ENGAGEMENT IN THE BUDGETING PROCESS FOR THE CENTRAL ZONE HELD AT PLATEAU STATE POLYTECHNIC, JOS CAMPUS ON 30TH JUNE, 2022 Protocol
It is my singler honour and privilege to welcome you to yet another consultative forum. The importance of the day cannot be over emphasized as this marks a special interface between Government and its citizens in the budget preparation process. The rationale behind this town hall meeting is to strengthen transparency, accountability and sustainability of government programmes as well as to gain government confidence in implementation.
Worthy of mention also is that, the citizens are the focal point of government budgeting policy and programmes hence the need for their involvement at the preparatory stage. Their valuable inputs is key in the process because they are part and parcel of the budget.
Ladies and gentlemen, you may recall that, we had a similar meeting on the subject matter where citizens were informed that government usually commenced the budget process by collecting proposals from the citizens of the state, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
2023 citizen budget has to comply with a recent guideline that put emphasis on what is krown as local governance.
observing the guidelines put in place for total eradication of the menace so that our economic activities will strive more so that the country’s dependable source of income has fallen down. Consequently, with this development, both government and the citizens are expected to look inward or think outside the box.
Fellow participants, ladies and gentlemen, it is on this note that, I want to call on all citizens to contribute meaningfully during the discussion. As a government, we are fully aware of our obligation to the citizens but our challenges has always been the limited resources. However, we will not be deterred but remained focus to continue the struggle based on available resources.
It will interest you to note that, the ministry of budget and economic planning was directed to dropped the approved budget estimate of 147.5 billion naira in the 2021 fiscal year to 101 billion naira in 2022 which finally stood at 106.5 billionnaira after legislative consideration. The desire of government is to prepare a modest and realistic budget that will add value to the state not mere reflection of figures. I therefore, want to appeal for understanding of the citizens on that regard.
Finally, I want to commend the rescue team of this administration under the able leadership of his excellency, the executive governor of Plateau State and Chairman Northern governor’s forum, RT. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong for his tireless effort to transform and effect positive changes in the lifes of Plateau citizens despite all challenges. His leadership style of continuity and inclusiveness is highly commendable. Worthy of mention also is the relative peace he struggles for in the state. I therefore, charge all citizens to live in peace with one another irrespective of tribal or religious background.
Equally, it may interest you, to note that the 2023 budgeting process will soon commence following the same process which a budget draft document is expected to be transmitted to the legislature in good time. The projects and programmes to be encapsulated in the proposals are expected to be in lime with the three-pillar policy trust of our charismatic governor, RT. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong our rescue team leader, which are:
i. Peace, Security and good governance,
ii. Physical Infrastructure Development and
iii. Sustable Economic Re-Birth
Therefore, your inputs at this meeting should be tailored towards supporting the above policies and also be in tune with the state development strategy which aims at improving our internally generated revenue (IGR).
Let me state here that, inspite of the limited resources, government is still responsive to its statutory responsibilities to the citizens of the state.
Indeed, to proof beyond reasonable doubt in governance, His Excellency, RT. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong has demonstrated by continued work on all the projects inherited from the past administration since inception with most of them now completed and very few un-going.
He has also initiated new projects that are very critical and have direct bearing on the lives of citizens cutting across the 17 local government areas of the state. Similarly, his desire and zeal for the welfare of citizens can be seen in the prompt payment of salaries and pension.
Let me use this opportunity to remind citizens that, the recent emergence of COVID-19 pandemic that affected our economy is still with us but gradually winding up. However, more needs to be done come
Once more, I welcome you all and wish you happy deliberation and journey mercy back to your destinations. STAY SAFE and may God bless you all. Thank you.
In response to questions and contributions made by the participants, Mr Lamba said that the budgeting process is a two-part process – Income (revenue) and Expenditure. Thus it is from the income that the government make budgetary allocations.
He also stated that Government have made a land provision for parking of trucks around Mararaban Jama’a junction to boost its revenue as well as solve the problems citizens face because of illegal parking of truck within the state.
He also states that the crisis in the state has affected the revenue generations from the tourism sector because investors shy away from coming to invest in the state.
Another highlight of the occasion is the presentation of the needs of the people by the Local Government Area leaders and their representatives to the permanent secretary. This was part of the initiatives of the CSO and the ministry.
Mr OJ Afwanks the co-chairman of the event and the representative of the Civil Society in the budget process. Stated that this partnership with Government is a welcome development that is bringing about a people-oriented budget, capturing the actual needs of the people.
The success of this event can be summarised with this three-point
The communities are actively engaged in the budgeting process
The approach of the budget is from the bottom to the top
The communities now have a working plan that they could hold on to.