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By The Citizen

DELTA State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has charged the Editors of various media houses in the country to ensure that they discharge the role properly as the watchdog of the society by monitoring the implementation of budgets, in order to achieve transparency and accountability in governance at all levels.

The governor who stated this on Saturday during an executive session of the ongoing 9th edition of  Nigerian Guild of Editors conference in Asaba, he also lamented the high cost of governance which he attributed partly to numerous appointment of political appointees.

From left: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina on arrival to the opening ceremony of the 9th Nigerian Guild of Editors' Conference held at the Event Centre, Asaba, Delta State, yesterday.

The governor made it clear that  government's budget is a public document that should be made available to the public to see and assess the level of its implementation, which he said, informed the Delta State government to print and circulate its 2013 Budget freely to individuals including participants at the conference.

He said, 'budget should be a public document that people can have access to and hold government accountable to it. This is why we have printed and distributed our state budget to people including you all in this hall. You can also access our budget online at any of our websites.

I think we are the only one in the country to have done this. Government is accountable to the people in everything'.

….. expresses worry over high cost of governance
On high cost of governance, Uduaghan said, 'the cost of governance is high because everybody now depends on government for business, we need to develop other sectors of the economy so as to create job opportunities independent of government.

We cannot just embark on the reduction of the number of the workforce in order to reduce the cost of governance but we can reduce and control political appointments especially those that we don't really need. There should be a limit to political appointments'.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in his contribution concurred with governor Uduaghan and said that while the cost of government was high, reduction of the workforce was not the best rather it was best to redistribute the staff to areas where they would be more productive and add more value to the development of the country.

Mr. Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor said there was the need to create enabling environment to attract investments and create employment so that less people depend on government for everything as 'this will make growth realistic and reduce the pressure on government especially for political appointments'.

As at the time of this report, the editors were on project tour of the State and are expected to round up with a dinner later in the day.