By Mohammed Kaka Misau
With a view to identifying key areas to be included in the 2023 budget and ensure its successful implementation, a Non Governmental organization known as State2State has held stakeholders meeting in Misau local government area of Bauchi state.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting, Mr. Nkem Ogbonna, Programme manager of the Project in charge of Misau, Katagum and Itas Gadau local government areas of Bauchi state said aim of the meeting was to strengthen budget consultation among communities.
“We did what we call budget consultation and town-hall meeting with stakeholders across the three LGs”, Mr. Nkem said while speaking to newsmen on Saturday.
He said that the meeting which had the Chairman of Misau local government area and other key government officials in attendance, created the opportunity for stakeholders to table various challenges affecting them as a people.
“The issues were discussed with a view to including them in the 2023 budget towards addressing the challenges identified”, Nkem said.
According to him, the consultation created a very good opportunity for the people to make their challenges known in the presence of the authorities concerned.
He said major issues tabled by the stakeholders were related to health, education and water as well as any other thing that has to do with the progress of the society.
According to Mr. Nkem, stakeholders that graced the meeting include, commercial tricycle/motorcycle operators, NURTW and all other interest groups in the state.
“The stakeholders were able to table their challenges and as God may have it, the LG Chairman took note of all the issues raised. Others were told to go and bring their own input in writing so that it will be included in the budget”, the project manager said.
He added that communities that submitted theirs in writing include Sheyel, Kalgari, Arobana and Makera communities.
“These communities were the ones that put the identified challenges in writing, and thank God the local chairman said that the problem with a school in Arobana is being addressed. Those were some of the areas identified by the stakeholders during the meeting”, Mr. Nkem noted.
Nkem said major issues raised that has to do with education were, in the area of shortage of teachers, the structure itself or the quality of education in those schools.
According to him, issues of health were also given prominence as well as potable water.
“In a nutshell, education, health and water were the major issues that dominated the discussion during the stakeholders meeting”, he said.
The State2State project manager appealed to the stakeholders to ensure that they the information gotten during the meeting is shared with others in their respective domains to enable the project achieve its objectives.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Misau local government area, Hon Ahmed Abubakar described the meeting as a timely one.
He said that such discussion has been a ritual one in some parts of the country where it is held before budget is presented.
“Before a budget is presented in some states, inputs would be collected from various interest groups through stakeholders meeting”, he said.
He pointed out that, in this part of the country, the people are not used to it and that’s why some countries have progressed, living Nigeria behind.
“Normally, before budget is presented, sittings are hold at the community level, where communities would be sensitized and enlighten about issues identified by them collectively”, the Misau LG Chairman pointed out.
The LG Chairman who said budget implimentation goes hand in hand with the available resources, noted that in as much as the resources would not be available there is no way every thing in the budget can be implemented.
He said that “no govt will deliberately refuse to implement a budget, it has to be due to lack of revenue generation, in most cases, lack of budget implimentation is not deliberate”, the Chairman said.
He stated that “the success of any budget depends on the availability of resources, its success or otherwise is natural, natural in the sense that we Nigerians trust in God and our major source of revenue is crude oil, how it fares in the international market, by the time it suffers variation, if it crashes, there is always a problem in the implimentation of budget”.
Also speaking, Alhaji Jibrin Ahmad Inuwa, Director Primary Healthcare, Misau local government health authority said it was a good thing that stakeholders in Misau were summoned to the meeting to make inputs in the way and manner budget is made to ensure successful implimentation.
He said, during the stakeholders meeting, some Communities demanded for additional hospitals while others that have the hospitals but a delipidated called for reconstruction work to be carried out.
“In some places, they have enough hospitals but lacks adequate manpower and they need qualified staff to manage those hospitals to cater for the needs of the patients, all these issues were brought forward”, he said.