By Bukar Bolori
Chairmen of local governments in the country have been advised to involve residents of their council in the budgetary processes.
Speaking at the weekend during the
Abuja Municipal Area Council
Town Hall Meeting on Participatory Budgeting organized by ActionAid Nigeria, the chairman of the council, Hon. Abdullahi Candido said this gives everyone in the council a sense of belonging and reduce the pressure on local government administrators.
Candido, who disclosed that he was initially wary of allowing participatory budgeting in Abuja Municipal Area Council, said as he later found out that the process has brought him closer to the people and have made him to know that the expectations of the people from government are moderate.
He said he has also come to know that when people are made to determine what government should do for them, they come all out to contribute their quota towards the success of government.
He said: “Participatory budgeting gives an opportunity for the people to be involved in taking decision they want. It will reduce criticism and prioritization will come into play.”
Candido urged other councils in the country to learn from the experience of AMAC who introduced participatory budgeting two years ago and has got testimonies to give.
Also speaking on the exercise, the Director of Programme, ActionAid Nigeria, Suwaiba Dankobo said: the exercise was part of open governance, which creates a straight and open way to administer a council.
She said the process helps in further bonding the political leaders and the people and further assist the government in getting needed information and support that will go a long way in delivering on their mandate.
She said though the entire process is still in its early stage and still yet to be introduce all over Nigeria, she promised that ActionAid will continue to support it and get to bring many councils into it.
At the town hall meeting in Jiwa over the weekend are people from Gwagwa, Jiwa, Gui, Gwarimpa wards of Abuja Municipal Area Council, the process has earlier been initiated in the eight other wards of the council.