Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, said top-bottom approach in the state budgeting process had over the years resulted in duplication of projects in communities.
He stated this during the second edition of the conference on “Citizens’ Participation for Preparation of the 2021 Annual Budget”, which was held in Yenagoa on Monday.
Participants at the event were drawn from the House of Assembly, commissioners, permanent secretaries, local government chairmen, labour unions, women and youth groups, civil society organisations, among others.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said, “We are here not only to fulfill a necessary obligation of the prosperity government but also to fulfill a legal provision.
“Over the years, we have always done a top-bottom approach in budgeting, which has made us to misplace and duplicate projects in communities. Thus, this budgeting process will eliminate a lot of that.”
“The citizens’ participation budget conference has been called in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 (as amended) with the outcomes of the conference to be published on the state’s website.”
He said the initiative was geared towards strengthening accountability and collaboration with all stakeholders in the state.
The governor expressed optimism that involving citizens in strategic government policies would deepen the governance process of the state.
He noted that the collective review and approval of the budget would guarantee effective apportioning of resources in accordance with shared vision and values of the citizens.
He directed all council chairmen to work in conjunction with the commissioners in charge of the senatorial districts to convene a similar citizens’ participatory budget session within a week and make their reports available in three weeks.
Diri, who equally identified security, education, agriculture, health and infrastructure as critical sectors of focus in the 2021 budget of the state, further said that emhpasis would be laid on continuation of construction of the three senatorial road projects.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, highlighted the objectives of the budget process to include enhancing service delivery as well as identifying areas of interest towards promoting transparency.