Finally, Imo Signs up to Open Budget System

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Emeka Ihedioha

The Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led Imo State Government has commenced an open budget system in order to bring transparency to the people of the state.

This was disclosed yesterday by the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Reginald Ihebuzor, in an interview with journalists in his office.

He explained the need for Imo citizens to be part of the state budget system, adding that it makes also for transparency and accountability which are part of the cardinal policy of the administration.

Ihebuzor revealed that during the immediate-past administration in the state, people were in the dark about the budget system and the results of the audits of the state government accounts.

He went further saying: “Unlike the administration of Rochas Okorocha, the administration of Ihedioha has resolved to always maintain the policy of transparency and accountability.”

The commissioner revealed that however, from last Friday, his office had engaged the Office of the Auditor-General to look at accounts between 2013 and 2018.

He directed the budget office of his ministry to go ahead and make public their accounts of past years so that Imo citizens would know what was being budgeted for and how their funds were spent.

Continuing, the commissioner noted that the reason Okorocha’s administration did not release audited accounts for the past years was “because he (Okorocha) had operated a lot of fiscal issues under secrecy for the purpose of misappropriating the state fund.”

According to him, “Work on the 2020 budget has commenced,” adding that the implication of this openness is that Imo people will follow the state budget system and its expenditure, which is in line with Ihedioha’s policy of openness, transparency and accountability.