Group photograph of participants at the opening of the three-day meeting. Photo: Murtala Muhammad
By Murtala Muhammad
Officials from the Gombe State Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs have converged on Bauchi to review the Fourth Year Work Plan of the USAID funded State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness, State2State Activity.
The engagement tagged “Year 4 Work Plan Consultative Retreat”, was organised by the Gombe Field Office of USAID funded State2State Activity, and attended by key officials from the state Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Education, Budget and Planning, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Fiscal Responsibility Agency and Debt Management Agency.
Others include Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Due Process/Bureau of Public Procurement, offices of the State and local government Auditors General and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) among others.
The objectives of the meeting are to review the implementation of State2State Activity’s 2023 Fiscal Year Work Plan and identify current reform gaps and challenges in the state, with a view to correcting the problems.
It seeks to review data and information gathered from the Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions conducted, as well as gather stakeholders’ critical inputs for State2State’s work plan of 2024 Fiscal Year.
Another objective is to review data and information gathered from a review of reports and assessments, such as Public Financial Management, PFM, Gender and Social Inclusion, GESI assessments among other issues.
In a remark, the State Team Lead of USAID State2State Activity, Gombe Field Office, Muhammad Abubakar said the political will and responsiveness demonstrated by the state government towards achieving citizens need and priorities were commendable, as it engages CSOs and PWDs to have a say in the Budget process and implementation.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Gombe State’s Budget, Planning and Development Partner Coordination Office, Abubakar Dauda Gadam commended State2State Activity for the technical support it was rendering which makes the state one of the top performing states in terms of fiscal transparency and accountability which in the long run leads to good governance.
The meeting is expected to provide solutions for identified gaps and challenges as well as chat ways of ensuring sustainability framework for the state after the interventions of State2State Activity.
At the commencement of the meeting there was an official launching of the newly developed Gombe State Budget Manual, which received technical support from USAID funded State2State Activity.