A civil society group, Action for Socio-political and Economic Change (ASEC), Wednesday, called on Edo State government to make it as a point of deliberate policy to engage citizens at grassroots level in harvesting their peculiar needs for budget formulation.
ASEC is a civil society group whose thematic areas are public accountability, transparency, good governance and human rights and an affiliate of Edo Civil Society Organisations.
Leftist Osazee Edigin, Coordinator of the group made the call in Benin while reacting to the presentation of the 2020 revised supplementary budget by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to the state House of Assembly on Tuesday.
He lamented that this is the second time the 2020 budget is been revised in response to the current economic reality which was predominantly caused by the novel Coronavirus pandemic that affected the larger part of the year and distorted economic projections.
While state that local government chairmen, councilors and state House of Assembly members are expected to meet with people at the grassroots level, Edigin stated that this is necessary so as to get feedbacks on government expectations vis-a-vis project execution in their domains that will form a robust budget document he posited.
Speaking further, he emphasized on the need for government and House of Assembly representatives to always organise stakeholders’ meetings at the local level so as to enable government input what are of more importance to the locals into budget formulation.
He noted that this should be done rather than relying mostly on call circulars from MDAs and party leaders without engaging the grassroots populace, asserting that, a budget performance is determinant on how it will impart on the people positively.