By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
Kaduna State Commissioner of Rural and Community Development, Hajia Balarabe Aliyu Inuwa at weekend queries groups of Civil Society Organizations in the state for not being part of policy formulation but always quick to criticise budget implementation.
The commissioner made the accusation when a non-governmental organization, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) organized a citizen dialogue on good governance which brought stakeholders from CSO, Community-based Organizations, Professional groups, Media, Artisans as well as private sectors operating within the state to a round-table to discuss governance and budget implementation in the interest of the masses.
The aims of bringing them together was to see areas of possible partnership that can serve as catalyst for the state government to deliver on its campaign promises to the people of the state as captured in the multi-year budget and to support the government’s efforts at promoting transparency and accountability.
Hajia Balarabe, was of the view that Civil Society should not wait until after the budget is being passed into law, charging them to be up and as the workshop came at a time when the state is already implementing the 2017 budget.
She challenge participants to monitor ongoing projects being executed by the state government and come out with constructive criticism or recommendations or commendation.
According to her, “I hardly see any of you coming to my office to ask what we are doing in the ministry. Even though if the commissioner is not on ground, there are directors who are ever ready to answer any question that relate to our ministry.
“You people are development partners and it is expected that when you see any project going on anywhere in the state, you can go ahead look for the contractor and find out whether they are using standard materials or not. At any point you suspect any foul, raise alarm and appropriate step will be taken. Government projects are our project and we should do all within our reach to make sure quality works are done”, she requested.
Also in his contribution, Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Economy Planning, Mohammed Sani Abdullahi hinge the sources of finance on the ongoing developmental projects in the state on prudence in spending of the state government and not from World Bank as been peddled in some quarters.
According to him, “I see you as civil service friendly. We need you to continue to demand the right things from us. If you need information, we are ready to supply it to you but you may need to book appointment earlier so we don’t keep you waiting for hours because of our tight schedule.
“We have the most open and transparent budget, everybody can access the budget on our website, I get frustrated at times when people tell me they’ve not seen it, email me and I will personally send it to you.
“We had plan for the state, you are very free to monitor the budget and our doors are always open for you, we’ve already recorded an unpresidented achievements which everyone can see.”