Participants Laud USAID State2State on Citizens’ Inclusion in Sokoto Budget

Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

Participants at the second quarterly “Pause and Reflect on Citizens’ Participation in Sokoto State’s Budget Consultation Meeting” at the instance of USAID State2State, has applauded citizens’ inclusion in the implementation of the state budget.

They also unanimously agreed that budget preparations for the next year should start in earnest with same vigour of citizens’ participation, to improve better quality services and boost their civic rights and political participation.

The objectives of the meeting, according to USAID State2State Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator, Olalekan Medayese, is “to assess the citizen’s progress in the implementations of the past budget in the state and assess the inclusion of citizen’s needs in the states’ approved past budget as submitted by the CSOs.

“The meeting will also explore strategies and recommendations to enhance citizens’ engagement in future budgetary processes and, assess the extent to which the approved 2024 state and local government areas budget incorporate citizen input.”

On his part, USAID State2State Public Financial Manager, Mr. Kenny Oleru, in his overview of the Sokoto State 2024 budget cycle, acknowledged there are no sign the state government has veered off the track.

Oleru commended the state government in administering the state resources in line with the dictates of the state budget.

The Project Coordinator, Community Development Charter, CDC, Mr. Usman Sani Umar, in his presentation pinpointed that USAID State2State’s engagement in Sokoto State has improved gender inclusivity, community engagement and participation and tracking of budget implementation in the state.

Umar said: “At CDC, we are able to sensitize and mobilize the citizenry to be involved in budget preparation and monitoring. This however, goes a long way to increase citizens’ trust in government.”

“Going forward, the meeting unanimously agreed that budget preparations should start in earnest and, when citizens are involved, it provides accountability and transparency.

“Citizens through their participation, will make the best input in better allocation of resources, improve better quality services and boost their civic rights and political participation.”

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