BAUCHI State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has said that prior to the coming of the present All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration in the state in 2015, the preparation of the state budget was being done in isolation without carrying the public along.
The Governor stated this in Azare at the commencement of the public hearing of its 2019 proposed budget calling on citizens of the state to contribute actively in the public hearing in order to enable the government to have the needs of their communities well captured in the 2019 budget.
Mohammed Abubakar who was represented by the State Commissioner of Budget and State Planning Commission, Alhaji Magaji Abubakar Dambam said that, “Though it has been a tradition of preparing budgets in isolation, this administration will no longer maintain that tradition, because budget is a public document that should be made public and will also afford the public to have their needs captured.”
He added that “Previously, many people have complained about not having their needs captured in the budgets, so this is an opportunity to table your needs and have it the Budget.”
The Governor also appealed to the traditional leaders to further sensitise their subjects on the opportunity availed them through such public hearings because according to him, “there was no such opportunities before the coming of the present administration.”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and State Planning Commission, Alhaji Yahuza Adamu Haruna said that the objective of the budget public hearing was to take the public through the step-by-step preparation of the 2019 budget process and also ensure community ownership of projects appropriated in the budget.
“When you are part of the process, there is the tendency of you monitoring projects to ensure that standards are maintained because you know how much is appropriated for the project,” Yahuza Haruna said.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Director Budget in the Ministry, Mallam Dahiru Sambo said that the public hearing is conducted in such a manner that is decentralised.
“In order to reduce the burden of having to travel to the state capital, the public hearing is being hosted in the three senatorial zones of Bauchi North, Central and Bauchi South respectively. I call on you to pay attention and contributed actively for your needs to be addressed,” Dahiru Sambo said.
During the public hearing, presentations of the 2018 budget performance and projection of the 2019 proposed budget were made by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry which attracted active contributions from the general public.
It is expected that the proposed 2019 budget public hearing will continue in Misau Local Government for the Central zone and finally Bauchi, the South Senatorial Zone