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No Security Risk In Making Budget Open - NGOs

By Chigozie Uzosike
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The southeast leaders have been charged to make income and expenditure of the state public as there in no security risk in doing that.

This was the position when the Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights with support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with about 52 civil society organizations, faith-based organization and government representatives rose from the session.

In his presentation titled, Public Sector Accountability Issues in Ebonyi State, Prof. Smart Out noted that the onus of holding the elected representatives accountable falls within the province of the citizens, adding that only elected leaders are held to account, adding that accountability is one of the beauty of democracy. He said that there are rules guiding democracy, stressing that it is not a taboo to bring the leaders to account for their stewardship. He noted that the leaders will be better off when they publish the details of the budget.

Speaking during the clinic that took place at Unity FM, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, the Executive Director of citizens center for integrated development and social rights, Emeka Ononamadu posited that the essence of the democracy clinic was to make citizens hold leaders accountable so that the duty bearers 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 accident, adding that budget is the pivot upon which any economy thrives.

He advised citizens of southeast extraction to stop destroying their leaders in public, stressing that they (citizens) should always protect the politicians by providing constructive criticisms to enable them do well. He called on southeast leaders to be prudent in the management of the little resources that the zone gets from the federal government allocation, insisting that in the face of the paucity of resources, the only panacea according to him will be for the leaders to be mindful of how the little resources are utilized.

Ononamadu urged the south east state governments to extend development to the rural areas, adding that the rural communities are suffering from lack of roads, electricity, water and other infrastructural development, while calling on them to look into the issue of multiple taxation that has become a recurring decimal in the southeast. He hinted that the southeast leaders should look into the budget, which he said was the vehicle through which corruption is being legitimized.