Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that citizens’ aspirations would always drive the budget process under his administration, to deepen participatory democracy and ensure good governance.
“Democracy is all about people. It is meaningless when the people are shut out of the processes of governance, which in fact revolves around them and their wellbeing. This is the reason we have called this meeting to allow you to make input into the budget process,” AbdulRazaq said yesterday at a town hall meeting on citizens’ engagement in the budget process in Ilorin.
At the meeting, citizens suggested things they wanted in the budget.
The first of its kind in the state, AbdulRazaq said the platform would be widened next year to allow for wider participation of the citizens, and vowed to ensure that people’s aspirations were reflected in the budget outcome and implementation.
Besides, he said the process would be fast-tracked to meet the January to December budget cycle, promising heavy investment in social infrastructure, agriculture and human capital development.
“While budgeting has always been an annual ritual where the government outlines its priority areas for the next fiscal year, this is the first time in our state that we are seeking the direct input of the citizenry to the budget. It is the first time citizens are to say what they think the government should prioritise in the next financial year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government has been urged to accommodate the interest of Persons With Disability (PWDs) in the state.
The call was made yesterday by the chairman of Kwara State Association for the Deaf, Mr. Ridwan Hassan, at a press briefing to usher in the International Week for Deaf People at Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Ilorin.
In a prepared speech, Ridwan said, “The deaf can also work in other government parastatals and agencies like the normal people.”
He added that most of them attended the same educational institutions with other members of the society, and knowledgeable in various fields of endeavour, with a certificate to back it up.
We have experts like medical doctors, lecturers and engineers as members, he added.
The group also called on the government to appoint an interpreter as a special adviser on PWDs to carry them along in the activities of government.