USAID State Accountability, Transparency, and Effectiveness Activity has organised a two-days training for staff of State Planning Commission and Budget Department, on Public Budget consultation. Which was held on the 16 and 17 September, 2021. At KDD Hotel, Jimeta-Yola.
The training seek to enlighten participants on the need to broaden public budget consultation to target priority sectors, highlight the need to expand public budget consultation to target communities, Social organisations, specifically related to this priority sectors of Education, Health, Water sanitation and Hygiene, Inclusion of Women, Youth and other marginalised groups.
In an opening remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Budget Department Mrs. Winfe Atanga, commended organisers of the training for building capacity of participants to acquire more knowledge on the need to improve effectiveness in Budget preparation in their various Ministries, departments and Agencies.
The facilitating consulatant, Mr. Chikwuike Uba, made a presentation on terms Budget, Budget consultation, importance of budget among others.
He defines ‘Budget’ ‘as the amount of money/resources earmarked for a particular institution, activity or time frame’. While, consultation as a process of involving different stakeholders in decision making for a sustainable development. Mr. Uba, further explained importance of public budget consultation thus; ‘better understanding of problems, builds trust in the authorities, educate public and develop sense of citizens’ among others.
The facilitating consultant, also stressed on the need for gender mainstreaming and inclusion in public budget consultation, inclusion in use of languages and communication styles used. He further explained the role of Government in budget consultation viz; How to systematically collect, maintain, monitor, and analyse information gathered and so on. Mr. Uba, also, made a presentation on ‘Role of citizens in budget consultation’ which includes; prioritization of community needs, gathering success and lessons learnt and so on.
In an interview with a participants Mr. Clarkson Gajere, Secretary House standing committee on finance appropriation and Budget of State House of Assembly, stated that he learned that “for any Government to deliver dividend of democracy has to prepare budget in line with citizens needs and as a stakeholder, by the time a budget is brought to his office, he will consider the basic needs of people and give more priority.
Also, a participant from Ministry of Environment Mrs. Andia Gandhi, pledges to put what she have learned to practice in the organisation she represents.
The participants were drawn from state planing commission, state House of assembly, Fiscal responsibility commission, Board of international revenue, Accountant general office, Universal Basic Education board, Primary Health care Development Agency and Ministry of water resources.
Climax of the training was group work and presentations by participants on what they have learned.