By Festus Ahon
UGHELLI â€” THE need for active communities’ participation in budget preparation and implementa-tion, took the front burner last week, as a two-day capacity building workshop was held by non- governmental organisations, Afro Centre for Develop-ment, Peace and Justice (AFRODEP) and the Poverty Alleviation For The Poor Initiative (PAFPI).
Speaking during the workshop held in Ughelli, Delta State, Executive Director of PAFPI, Mr. Kejekpo Omonade, said the workshop was aimed at getting the people at the grassroots to understand the budget process and the role they could play to conceive and have their communities’ projects included in local government budget.
He said, â€œThe reason people do not participate in budget is because of ignorance. They do not know what budget process is.â€
” The idea is to let them know their role and how their communities can benefit from itâ€
According to Omonade, the workshop was an initiative of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
On his part, the Executive Director, AFRO, Mr. Festus Keneboh stressed the need to bridge the gap between the government and the people so as to pave way for sustainable development.
â€œWe have what is known as the budget cycle. The budget cycle is the process for formulation of budget up to the implementation down to the monitoring and evaluation. Citizens can participate inÂ budget process at the point of initiating the developmental issues that will be incorporated into the budget.
That is why we are saying in the preparation of the budget there is need to consult the citizens so that can make their inputâ€, he said.