By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde has declared that his administration would continue the tradition of engaging residents of the state on the making of the state’s annual budget.
Speaking on Monday at the Stakeholders’ Consultative and Engagement Meeting on 2024 Budget, held at the Gamaliel Onosode Hall of the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, the governor said this would help the government to serve the people better.
He disclosed that his administration began the tradition in 2019 after noticing that the budgetary performances of the state were abysmally low before he assumed office and that the initiative had resulted in better budget performances and development.
Governor Makinde emphasized that his administration would continue to put the interest of Oyo State people first in everything it does, adding that the 2023 budget performance of the state would have reached 80 per cent by the end of the year, as it is already at 75 per cent, which he described as a pass mark.
The governor then tasked the people of Oyo state to take the engagement meetings, which would be held across the seven zones of the state seriously as inputs from the meetings would be captured in the budget.
“We are here again to kick off another stakeholders’ meeting and this time, it is for the 2024 budget.
Like some of the goodwill messages already pointed out, we have held this conversation since 2019 when we assumed office. It is not just a yearly ritual; it is an exercise that is extremely important”, he said.
The governor added, “Before we came in, budget performance was like 30 per cent and sometimes, you just look at the budget and you see that they are just overblowing what they did”.
“We are not coming around for this exercise just for the fun of it. The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning said we are at 75 per cent performance and before the end of the year, we will surely go beyond 80 per cent. I believe this is a pass mark”.
Governor Makinde stressed further “Thoughtfully, the people of Oyo State gave us an opportunity to serve them better. So, we will continue to hold this stakeholders’ engagement under my watch for another three years”.
“For those who are familiar with this meeting, you know there was a time when we consulted stakeholders in the five zones now broken into seven zones, as we have Ibadan Main City and what I will call Ibadan Greater City and not Lesser City. And we also have Oke Ogun Zones I and II. The inputs we get from all these places are extremely important, because anything that you can put in the budget, if you are getting 75 to 80 per cent performance, it means you have 75 to 80 per cent chances that whatever you put in there will get done.
“So, we must let our people know that this is not a jamboree. It is an avenue for our people to let us know what they want us to do for them.”