The leadership in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State has assured the implementation of no fewer than 156 projects conceived and presented by its rural communities during its citizens engagement with the people towards it’s 2024 draft budget.
According to Ibrahim Tafida, the treasurer of the Local Government,
at a citizens’ engagement programme on preparation of the 2024 budget for the LGA, ” These projects include the construction and improvement of roads, health, education, water, security, power, social re-orientation, housing and environmental.
Ibrahim Tafida stated that all the 156 projects already captured in the budget document, were submitted by different communities across the 11 political wards of the LGA.
He urged the citizens and other business owners in the area to contribute by paying their taxes as at when due, to improve the revenue generation of the LGA and in turn aid the full implementation of the budget.
Chairman of the Local Council, Abubakar Usman-Barambu who gave the importance of citizens’ contribution in the budget making process, added that the government cannot fully understand the needs and aspirations of the community without their input.
He commended the governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, for initiating the citizens engagement on budget preparation in the state, stressing that engaging citizens and having their inputs in activities, especially government’s expenditure, is a sure way of promoting good governance and ensuring ownership of projects and programes of the government.
Speaking on behalf of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Malam Ibrahim Yusuf, Chairman, Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Gombe State, who was represented at the event by Malam Yahaya Muhammad, stated that the feedback from the stakeholders would allow the council to prioritise projects that would better serve the community’s needs.
He said the citizens engagement programme is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to inclusive governance, transparency, and accountability.
Mr Ezra Sori, the Deputy Director, Planning, at the State’s Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, commended Chairman of the council as well as other officials for organising the programme.
He said the citizens engagement programme is a step in the right direction towards building a more responsive and effective government. “It is a template that other local governments can emulate in ensuring participatory governance and inclusive development”, he stressed.
On his part, the Emir of Akko, Alhaji Umar Muhammad Atiku, who spoke on behalf of traditional leaders, stated that the programme is a laudable initiative by the the State Governor which fosters participation and collaboration between the government and the citizenry thereby promoting a mutual sense of ownership and responsibility towards the development of the community.
The programme was attended by various stakeholders from the local communities including traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society organisations and representatives from different interest groups.