By Emmanuel Bagudu
The government of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa and some South Eastern States have been called to be more responsive
and proactive on budget implementation and follow up as a justice to good governance, sustainable development and reduction in poverty through participatory, engagement and awareness on fiscal policies.
Executive Director of KabetKache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emem Okon made the call in a virtual Press conference today when reports of fair taxation, budget monitoring and implementations was presented by budget monitors across the South South and South Eastern region.
According to Okon, there is need for citizens to hold government accountable on Budget implementation instead of celebrating mediocrity ahead of excellence. According to her reports from budget monitors disclosed that about 12.5% of the projects in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State are active while many others are inactive and needs restoration as soon as possible. This shows a very low project impact and outcome.
Reports from Cross River State during the briefing indicates that the level of compliance to government Anti Tax policy under the leadership of Prof Ben Ayade is still low considering complains from commercial tricycle operators and petty traders who complained of unexplained and vague taxes imposed on them. Recall that Governor Ayade at inception of his administration Exempted petty traders and small business from high taxation.
Mrs Okon said the organization budget intervention is meant to contribute significantly to the start of a movement centered around participatory fiscal governance as well as prudent and accountable use of public resources at the sub-national level.
“Our policy includes training citizens on budget tracking and monitoring across the Niger Delta and South Eastern States as a critical tool for addressing the problem of corruption, mismanagement and underdevelopment in Nigeria says Mrs Okon.