By Murtala Muhammad
In an effort to ensure citizens based Budget process in Bauchi state, members of Civil Society Organisations’ Public Financial Management (PFM) Forum, comprising State and Non-State Actors have brainstormed and developed an action plan to guide them in taking a bold step in the proposed 2024 state’s Budget process.
The aim is to conform with the Community Charter of Demand (CCD) template supported by the Bauchi Field office USAID funded State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity.
The action plan was developed using the quarterly review of the activities of the Civil Society Organisations’ Public Financial Management (PFM) Forum held at the State2State main office conference hall Bauchi.
In an address, the State Team Lead of USAID State2State Activity, Mrs Rabi Ekele who appreciated the Non-State and State Actors for their commitment, expressed optimism that the state would achieve the expected outcome.
Mrs Ekele said the meeting provides an opportunity to assess performance of the CSOs in budget tracking through identification of gaps in their activities with a view to proffering solutions for fruitful future engagement with the State actors.
She commented the participants for their openness in the discussions so as that gave birth to a sound document that would guide the CSOs and the state actors in articulating a budget process that incorporates citizens needs in the State.
The Secretary of the OGP Committee and Director in the State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mallam Lawan Bako commended USAID State2State for the support rendered in conducting the quarterly review meeting which brings together State and Non-State Actors.
Mallam Bako said maintaining such interface between the two parties would strengthen the state government budget process through effective participation of citizens.
Presenting the CSOs’ report for the period under review, the Chairman of Bauchi State Network of CSOs Coalition (BASNEC) Mr Jinjiri John applauded the State Government for showing political will, by involving the citizens in its budget process, stressing that more needs to be done on terms of budget releases.
The USAID State2State Citizens Engagement and Capacity Building Specialist, Mr Habila Salem, while highlighting what the review meeting seeks to achieve said that the objective of the meeting was to track and harvest the outcomes of CSOs interventions including number of advocacy initiatives undertaken within the period under review.
Mr. Salem also said that the meeting seeks to review progress of the State budget implementation in terms of citizens needs and priorities as contained in the CCD template.
According to him the meeting also focused on planning for the next quarter intervention and explore avenue for a more robust citizens engagement and participation in the forthcoming 2024 budget consultations.