By Taye Obateru & Adedoyin Ojosipe
Jos â€” A call has gone to legislatures at various levels to consider holding public hearings on appropriation bills as a way of carrying the people along and ensuring that budgets reflect the aspirations of the people.
Similarly, necessary framework for easier access to information for budget tracking and monitoring has been suggested to check corruption and waste of public funds.
These issues were discussed by participants at a workshop on the importance of information to budget monitoring and tracking for good governance organised by the League for Human Rights.
Speaking on â€œThe Importance of Budget Monitoring/Tracking in Democratic Governance,â€ Rev. Samuel Goro said carrying the people along in the budget process would make for good governance.
â€œAlthough there is no provision for public hearing by legislatures, it is important that a window of opportunity be created for civil society participation through public hearings considering that budget affects everyone,â€ he said.
In another paper on â€œBudget Implementation as a Tool for Good Governance,â€ Mrs. Bisoye Gofwen identified corruption and lack of commitment to the welfare of the people by leaders as inhibitions to budget implementation.
According to her, â€œNigeria needs leadership that is committed to building sustainable institutions with a credible framework of checks and balances instead of making scapegoats of those who dare to speak the truth.
â€œNigeria needs a leadership that appreciates the distinction between politics and governance and is not so myopic that it appreciates the national question primarily through the prism of primordial sentiments.
â€œNigeria needs a leadership that is open, transparent and accountable to the people.Â Such leadership must come to terms with the fact that corruption has become a Weapon of Mass Destruction, WMD, in Nigeria and needs to be frontally attacked without fear or favour.â€