Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State said allowing communities’ inputs in the budget process is the best way to make its implementation easier for governments.
According to him, adopting the participatory budgeting model allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how they want issues affecting them implemented.
Tambuwal spoke in Sokoto Tuesday at the opening of a Stakeholders’ Consultative Summit on the state’s 2017 budget.
The summit was organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, in collaboration with the state chapter of the Coalition of Non Governmental Organizations.
has urged the residents of the state to endeavour to pay their taxes regularly to the state government.
He said opening up the budget process has led to entrenchment of mutual trust which is today benefiting the government and citizens equally
On means of implemented the budget, Tambuwal lamented the inability of the people of Sokoto to pay tax regularly.
“As it is now, only the civil servants are paying taxes to government as at when due. Many others are not doing enough, while others are not doing it as at when due, but for progress to be made, the people must imbibe the habit of paying their taxes regularly.
“We are hereby assuring the people of the state that all revenues collected would be judiciously utilized for the benefit of the people.’
Tambuwal further harped on the need for increased execution of corporate social responsibility projects by firms and corporate organizations operating in the state.
He said such projects greatly complement the efforts of the state government, to further improve the living standard of the people of the state.
On the summit, Tambuwal said it was crucial in his administration’s quest for an all-inclusive governance.
“This is to capture all the needs and aspirations of the diverse people of the state, with a view to fulfilling our campaign promises. The summit would lead to the implementation of our policies and programmes,” the governor added.
He appealed to NGOS to continue to partner with the state government to further uplift the living standard of the people.
On his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said: ” I was criticized for employing a non indigene as my Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs. Imam had done exceedingly well as my spokesman when I was the Speaker of House of Representatives and I know why I appointed him.”
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Bala Kokani, said that the diverse groups of people in the state were carried along in all the budget processes ranging from conception and planning.
Imam had earlier said that the summit was organized to widen consultations on the state’s 2017 budget.
“This event was conceived to because of the need to widen consultations on the state’s fiscal policy, leading to the passage of the 2017 budget document by the State House of Assembly.
“Sokoto’s 2017 budget has outlined various strategies that will lead to increased investment, boost internal revenue and ensure inclusive growth in all parts of the state. The strategies to be adopted include aligning monetary, trade and fiscal policies and expand infrastructure, ensure the development of small and medium scale enterprises, improve ease of doing business, deliver the desired change in the agricultural sector and importantly expand government’s social investment programmes in areas like education, health, youth and women empowerment,” the spokesman added.
In his remarks, Chairman of Coalition of NGOs, Ibrahim Shuni, noted that the summit would strengthen transparency, accountability and governance.
Shuni added that it would also boost citizens’ participation in governance and help bolster service delivery.