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NGOs Decry Poor Implementation Of Budget In Southeast

By Chigozie Uzosike
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The poor implementation of budget in the southeast zone of the country by the leaders has been decried.

Speaking during the Democracy Clinic and Accountability Assembly held in Awka, Anambra State, the Executive Director, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) Emeka Ononamadu posited that once the leaders of the zone begin to apply what is in the budget, the southeast according to him, will be beehive of investment given the multiplier effect that the sincere use of the budget will cause.

The programme which was done with support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had about 40 civil society organizations and government representatives came together to brainstorm on how to move southeast forward, especially in terms of infrastructural development.

In the same vein, Ononamadu called on all the Town Unions of Southeast to go back to the effort of past years where communities through self help developed themselves, without having to wait for government. He urged the citizens to always get involved in the budget process to enable them know what the government has for them.

He noted that citizens must separate campaign for election from campaign for development, saying that the southeast should embrace the part of development instead of playing unnecessary politics which according to him, does not pay, especially that the zone has suffered so much neglect.

Ononamadu noted that citizens must hold leaders accountable so that they (leaders) will explain reasons behind their actions and inactions, adding that southeast leaders should make their budget open, accessible and transparent so that distribution of people’s resources is not done by mere intuition, insisting that budget gives economic direction to any government.

He challenged citizens to make proper use of the Constitution, Budget, Annual audit and financial Reports, Code of Conduct, Freedom of Information Act, Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Procurement Act which are the statutory instruments to engage leaders and make them accountable. He however commended Anambra State for carrying the communities along in its budget process, but said that more need to be done.

The Ag. Permanent Secretary for Budget and Planning, Anambra State, Kingsley Orji hinted that the budget of Anambra is already in circulation, adding that the citizens are part of the planning. He assured that the participants that the government will continue to live up to its promises of moving the state forward

In his contribution, the NLC Chairman, Anambra State chapter, Comrade Jerry Nnubia posited that for the citizens to participate in governance, they need to start by having voters cards which will enable them make right choices, stressing that staying indifferent during elections has also been part of lack of participation in governance.

In his remarks, the Secretary of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, (ASATU), Peter Nwagu noted that politics has been the bane of the Town Unions in the southeast, stressing that they are working hard to recover the lost glory of the Town Unions. He pleaded with governments of the zone to help in building the Unions as, according to him, no development can take place without working with the grassroot structure which he said is the Town Unions.