By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia said the success of democracy in Nigeria is as a result of active participation of citizens who possess requisite knowledge for development of the nation.
The governor stated this Friday during the 2023 public consultation town hall meeting/ citizen engagement for the preparation of 2024 budget at Precious Event Center, Makurdi.
Governor Alia, who was represented by his Deputy, Barrister Sam Ode, disclosed that the meeting was an avenue for every citizen to share ideas that will transform challenges in the state into success.
He commended the Benue State Planning Commission for bringing together stakeholders aimed at creating an enabling environment for other administrations to follow and encouraged it to ensure a wider coverage of such meeting in the future by engaging all citizens at both rural communities and state capital.
Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Aondona Dajoh represented by the member representing Tiev Constituency and Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Mr. Matthew Dakor lauded the initiative, stating that it was an opportunity for Benue people to contribute towards the next fiscal year.
He gave assurances that the Assembly is ready to synergize with the State Executive to ensure the right thing was done for success of the exercise.
On his part, Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Michael Oglegba represented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Apir Ityo said the engagement of citizens for budget preparation was important in order to get their inputs for proper planning and successful implementation in the next fiscal year.
Earlier, Director General, Benue State Planning Commission, Professor Jerome Andoho said the aim of the meeting was to kick start next year’s budget which is a requirement of Nigeria Governors Forum to ensure citizens trust on Government with inclusive participation and assessment of state resources for provision of democracy dividends to every citizen.
The town hall meeting had in attendance representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions, Religious and Traditional leaders, Persons with disabilities, Youth groups among others.