Gov. Douye Diri
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has promised to revise the development story of the state from project duplication to a people owned system as top-bottom approach in the state budgeting process had over the years, resulted in duplication of projects in communities.
The governor stated this at the second edition of the conference on “Citizens Participation for Preparation of the 2021 Annual Budget”, which held in Yenagoa.
Participants at the event were drawn from the State House of Assembly, commissioners, permanent secretaries, local government chairmen, labour unions, women and youth groups and civil society organisations, among others.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said, “We are here not only to fulfill a necessary obligation of the prosperity government but also to fulfill a legal provision.
“Over the years, we have always done a top-bottom approach in budgeting, which has made us to misplace and duplicate projects in communities. Thus, this budgeting process will eliminate a lot of that.”
“The citizens’ participation budget conference has been called in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 (as amended) with the outcomes of the conference to be published on the state’s website.”
According to the governor, the initiative was geared towards strengthening accountability and collaboration with all stakeholders in the state.
The governor expressed optimism that involving citizens in strategic government policies would deepen the governance process of the state, noting that the collective review and approval of the budget would guarantee effective apportioning of resources in accordance with shared vision and values of the citizens.
He directed all council chairmen to work in conjunction with the commissioners in charge of the senatorial districts to convene a similar citizens’ participatory budget session within a week and make their reports available in three weeks.
Diri, who, identified security, education, agriculture, health and infrastructure as critical sectors of focus in the state’s 2021 budget, added that emphasis would be laid on the continuation of construction of the three senatorial road projects.
The commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, highlighted the objectives of the
budget process to include enhancing service delivery and identifying areas of interest towards promoting transparency.