Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has assured Ekiti people of his administration’s committment to proper accountability and transparency in all its activities.
The governor, who made this known at a stakeholders’ consultative forum in preparation for 2019 budget promised a broad-based inclusion of all and sundry in its policy and programmes development.
He said the forum was the aftermath of the extensive consultations that were held in the three Senatorial districts of the state which gave opportunity to assess the level of infrastructural and social development required to lift the people out of poverty.
According to the governor, “This forum is designed to kick-start the statutory activities that are critrical to the development of Ekiti State’s budget for the year 2019. Feedback from this forum would influence the governance priorities that would be reflected in the budget, and is in line with our participatory budgeting model which we established since our first tenure in office.
“Our administration remains committed to the principle of transparency, accountability, and broad-based inclusion in policy and programme development, which is why today’s event is a very important step towards the development of an inclusive budget that leaves nobody behind”.
The governor said he had personally conducted inspection of all abandoned projects in the state to ascertain their viability and also concluded executive briefings from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to afford government the opportunity to address the various challenges facing them.
He assured the people that his government would complete all the abandoned projects before embarking on new ones adding that the communities would be carried along in the scheme of things.
While expressing the fact that government resources were not unlimited, the governor stressed the need to embark on aggressive revenue drive that would bring more money to the coffers of government to achieve all these laudable programmes in record time.
“One of the painful things that I witnessed during the tour was the abandonment of many projects that our government supported when we were in office. The palaces being constructed, the civic centres, the community health centres, 5kilometer roads, so many of them. We discovered that many of these projects have been where we left them in 2014.
“I know that we are going to receive a long wish list today, yes, but you also know that government resources are not unlimited, so we have a duty, all of us to also focus on this discussion today on how do we generate more revenue for our state and the revenue that is generated, how do we ensure that it is properly accounted for both at the local and state levels, this is our collective responsibilities, the resources is our common wealth and we ought to do everything to grow it and utilise it for the good of all in Ekiti state.” He asserted.
Fayemi promised to reinvigorate the social security sheme and other welfare packages for the people in addition to strenghtening the free healthcare and free education programmes.
“And that is the reason why this government has as one of its pillars, social investment and many things are contained in our social investment programmes, some, you are already familiar with, our social security benefits for the elderly (owo arugbo); youth empowerment, particularly the youth volunteer scheme we know; we shall be adding to it the school feeding programme for all our children in primary school. And in addition to that, we will be re-invigorating our free healthcare and free education programmes.” He said.
Fayemi restated the priorities of his administration to include establishing an effective and efficient strategy to revamp the state economy; improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, and closely monitor same for the purpose of blocking all illicit leakages of accruals to Government as well as effective and efficient monitoring and reporting of Governments income and expenditure for greater transparency and accountability.
He also added that his administration would ensure completion of all critical capital projects that have been abandoned, which are aligned with the four pillars of our administration’s policy and programmatic thrust, namely: Social investments; Knowledge Economy; Infrastructural and Industrial Development and agriculture and Rural Development; and also creating the conditions for government’s efforts to result in the goal of “Restoring our Values”; and returning Ekiti to her pride of place in the comity of states in the federation.
The state Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr Dapo Kolawole said one of the hallmarks of global best practice in budget preparation is the idea of consulting and giving opportunity for the people to suggest programmes and projects they consider their priority needs from government.
Kolawole disclosed that stakeholders consultative meeting is one of the parameters used in ranking states on account of transparency under public financial management under the world Bank State Fiscal Transparency.
“One of the hallmarks of Global best practice in budget preparation is the process of bottom-up approach. This implies that the people are consulted and given the opportunity to suggest programmes and project they consider their priority needs from the government.
“It is on record that during your first term in office, your government pioneered Commmunity consultative meetings before budget preparation in Ekiti state. This led to the completion of several projects initiated through the stakeholders i.e. the Community Development Associations while you were in office.
“Stakeholders consultative meeting is one of the parameters being used in ranking the thirty six(36) states of the Federation in terms of transparency under Public Financial Management and especially under the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme and one of the requirements to access grants and Technical Support from Development Partners,” he said.