Tuesday, 1 February 2022

2022 Budget: Policy Alert Applauds Ayade Over Budget Transparency

The Cross River State Governor, Sir Benedict Ayade has been lauded for ensuring citizens of Cross River State and development partners across the globe have access to its budget as well as timely publishing of its 2022 budgets and other fiscal document online. 

This commendation was made by one of Nigeria's leading non-profit working for improved development outcomes in governance, environmental justice etc in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. 

Speaking at public presentation of the 2022 accented budget to members of the civil society and media, by the office of the Special Adviser to Governor Ayade on Budget, Mr. Otu Otu Ita, Executive Director of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, said he was happy at the timeliness of ensuring the state's approved budget and other fiscal materials were online for public consumption. 

"We are excited that the state's 2022 approved budget and other fiscal documents are now online. This improvement in fiscal transparency is commendable," Bolton-Akpan said.

Speaking further, Akpan lauded governor Ayade for presenting a realistic budget while moving away from the era of unrealistic bloated appropriations. He however advised that deliberate steps be taken to improve on budget credibility to avoid making another mockery of the entire exercise. 

"It is laudable to note that in the last two appropriations, the state has moved away from the trend of bloated and unrealistic budgets, but in 2022 efforts must be concentrated on improving budget credibility in order not to make another mockery of the entire exercise."

"Next, we want to see the state's budget documents in one location, rather than on the multiple websites where they are currently domiciled. This will promote ease of access and analysis by accountability actors and citizens in general."

Earlier on, the SA budget had informed that the meeting was necessary so has to give citizens a breakdown of the budget line while urging Cross Riverians to engage the budget as this will give them the opportunity to hold government accountable. 

Otu advised that it was important for Cross Riverians to have access to the budget, understand it, follow it and make informed decisions especially when attempting to hold government accountable. 

Many attendees have expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far with the budget seeing that it is a complete move from the type of budgets Cross River State have always been associated with in the past five years. They expressed optimism that starting on a good note by making it a citizen budget coupled with the budget size, the 2022 budget will have high implementation rate compared with the 2021 budget.