by Chinedu Brown
Have you seen the Ogun state 2017 budget? Kindly let us know if you have found any document detailing line by line spending of the Ogun state government for 2017. If you have seen it, you are probably not a private citizen who look up to the government for accountability and transparency, perhaps one of the creme de la creme of the Ogun state government.
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But truth be told, the Ogun state 2017 budget has not in anyway or in any form via any means been made public. Citizens of the state can not state categorically what the state government is presently working on, the cost of such and the timeline, nor can they state the ministry to be held responsible for implementation. In the absence of a detailed budget that can be easily accessed by the citizens, what you have is the state government blackmailing the citizens with certain elaborate projects which is then spinned into good PR in favour of the government.
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Ogun state does not have a good history of accountability and transparency especially when it comes to Open budget or budget transparency and accountability. The last time the state has a budget in the public space is the summary of the 2013 budget which was published on Budgit. A recent call to Budgit proved YMonitor right as to the ranking of the state low when it comes to Open budget index . Budgit stated that efforts at getting the state to release her budget have been futile, not only for this year but also for the previous years.
The state’s official website has the Ministry of the Budget and Planning in charge of budget matters on its portal, but the current year’s budget nor the previous ones are not on the website.
The only way citizens can be involved in governance is when it is all inclusive. Apart from this the essence of democracy is its inbuilt system of input, output and feedback. But how can there be proper feedback if there is no data? Data availability is what determines informed feed back and vise versa.
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We urge the state government to release the its 2017 budget, doing this is not a favour to the citizens, it is the citizens right to know what is contained in the state’s budget and it is the duty of the government to be responsible, accountable and transparent.
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