As an annual ceremony, the Ogun State Government launched on Monday 17 October 2022 an innovative concept seeking stakeholder input into budgeting to ensure fiscal discipline, public confidence and accountability.

Here’s why Governor Dapo Abiodun proposed a new philosophy of inclusive governance when he assumed leadership in May 2019.

One is openness and civic participation to encourage effective participation in governance. Second, the participation of the people in the decision-making process promotes trust and confidence between the government and the governed. More importantly, bringing governance closer to the grassroots enhances good governance and the delivery of effective services to citizens. It also provides an opportunity for some feedback on government performance through direct engagement with the people, bearing in mind the fact that the people are both the means and the end of development.

All of this is included in the Governor’s vision of focused and qualitative governance for the people of the state to achieve sustainable economic development and prosperity through the collective efforts of all stakeholders.

The move is new and refreshing, looking back at the just-gone era of impunity and administrative arrogance. This is unusual governance because it is the first attempt by any government in the state to involve people directly in the decision-making process on issues that affect their lives. So, for all intents and purposes, the idea is a practical demonstration of the bottom-up approach to governance, which is rightly summed up as this administration’s mantra of “building our future together”.

When Abiodun announced in his inaugural address in May 2019 that he intended to support a paradigm shift in governance, some cynics did not give him the benefit of the doubt. They just saw it as a catchphrase saying it would go away with time. But they got it wrong. In reality, this is a commitment that resonates among key stakeholders across all sectors of the nation’s economy. It will continue to do so as long as trust and confidence between the government and the people can be maintained.

At such electoral conferences, it is common practice for governors to record their achievements as a basis for support for re-election. But Abiodun believes in public participation and mutual trust, and therefore places great emphasis on feedback as a guide for future action plans. Basically, this strategic trust is based on the five development pillars embedded in ISEYA, which literally means infrastructure development, social well-being, education, youth empowerment and job creation, and agriculture and food security.

So, to further the government’s efforts to consolidate its inclusive governance gains, stakeholders are again gathering in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun East Senate District, for a town hall meeting on Monday, October 17, 2022, to seek input on Budget 2023. and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) inputs. This is the first in a series of events to be held in three Senate constituencies this year as an interactive forum, as well as a process of consultation and dialogue with citizens to obtain feedback on their wishes, needs and demands, as well as feedback on the preparation of the bill. contribute. State’s annual budget.

As in the previous meeting, the meeting brought together political appointees, elected representatives, senior and civil servants, student unions, artisans, market men and women, transport workers unions, unions and traditional rulers to discuss how to enrich the 2023 budget document for the next fiscal year. achieve better performance.

As the governor rightly pointed out in the interactive forum, the 2023 budget is as important as any other year since his administration, if not more important, because it is a transitional budget. “This budget will take us from the current stage to another stage of Ogun State’s ‘Building Our Future Together’ development agenda,” the governor said at the rally.

While setting the agenda for the meeting, the Governor further summed up the essence of the interactive forum, saying: “We intend to consolidate the global best practice public financial management (PFM) reforms we launched in 2019. Our fiscal policy focus is based on the adoption of Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our key processes to provide an enabling business environment for private sector investments and partnerships, including but not limited to land acquisitions, business registration, construction permits, land titles, dispute resolution and the provision of critical infrastructure and attracting investors Incentives to enter the state.”

This is clearly a complete departure from the past, and is deeply embedded in the current government’s system. In an effort to expand the reach of public engagement, the Governor approved the expansion of the annual town hall meeting to the Remo sector to capitalize on their contributions to the 2023-2025 MTEF and 2023 Budget. It takes place on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

State Budget and Planning Commissioner Mr Olaolu Olabimtan, in reviewing the input of the people in the region to the MTEF and the 2022 budget, said that 85 per cent of the requests were already included in the 2022 budget, while each state implemented the 65 state parts of the project.

Aside from the consensus-building process and the resulting feedback, another major implication of this leadership style is that it allows people to choose projects that are deemed most important to their well-being. By doing so, it creates ownership of process options, which is now a new thing around the world.

Too many expectations were placed on whom, they said. So, in a quick summary of his accomplishments, the governor listed a long list of infrastructure projects that have been completed and spread evenly across the state’s three Senate districts and local government areas.

“Across the three Senate districts, the distribution of resources is fair, just, fair. For the record, we have an average of 65 programs across the 20 LGAs across the state,” he added.

According to him, the government’s commitment to infrastructure development has resulted in the construction of more than 80 major roads and 120 other roads, with a total of 400 kilometers of roads built, rebuilt or rehabilitated.

In addition to the ongoing construction of the International Agricultural Combined Cargo Airport (Ogun State Agricultural Cargo Airport), this is an important step in transforming the state into an industrial hub and preferred investment destination. The governor enthusiastically stated that the airport will not only create jobs for the people of the state, but also help the state improve its ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index.

In Ogun East Senate District, some completed and ongoing construction or restoration projects include: Ijebu-Ode/Mojoda/Epe Road; Ibeben/Idowa/Ijebu-Ode Road; Oba Erinwole Dual Lane; Obafemi Awolowo Way, Bamboo Hand; Orile Oke Road; Oru-Awa-Alaparu-Ibadan Road; Asafa Oke/Asafa Asale/Ayegun/ojofa Street, Ijebu-Ode; Molipa/Fusigboye Street, Ijebu-Ode; Ejinrin Oluwalogbon Mobalufon, Ibadan Road; Ijeb – Ibomolushi College Road; Ili Mountain Market Road; Igan Road, Ago-Iwoye; Martins Kuye Street, Ago-Iwoye; Eruwon-Atan Road; and the construction of Ogunnon Cargo International Airport.

On housing, Abiodun, presenting his management scorecard, said: “We are building affordable housing in Sagamu and Ijebu Ode, and a third site in the Senate district will also begin construction soon.

“Our interventions in education included rebuilding more than 1,000 public schools and decorating them with yellow roofs, while also providing more than 25,000 sets of school furniture across the state.

“Other interventions include refurbishment and construction of primary health centres in all local governments in the Ogun East Senate District; construction of a powered drilling scheme; construction of lock-in shops throughout the Senate District; provision of solar rural electrification; retrofitting of existing fire stations; Our Oko’wo Dapo and FADAMA GUYS initiatives to empower women and youth; and many more.

For land relocation, the Governor cited Oba Erinwole Road, Hospital Road, Market Road, Awolowo Road, Sagamu Junction-Iperu-Ode and Ilisan-Ago-Iwoye Roads in Sagamu, and Cargo Airport in Ilisan. projects in the area.

He further informed the meeting that his government will hold the ground-breaking ceremony for the special agro-processing zone and seaport, adding that the railway line project from Aragabado to Cayola will be extended, while Sri Lanka) railway line project will be extended. to Agbara to ease the flow of goods and services.

The sustainability of the state’s economy is premised on an IGR of over N70 billion between January 2022 and September 2022, as well as other reform initiatives introduced by the government. These include: Agrarian reform (OLARMS); judicial reform, tax reform and all other public financial management reforms, which are now having a positive impact on the economy. This is self-evident in the growth of our IGR.

As industry observers have observed, Ogun State has spent the past three-and-a-half years under this administration in terms of investment in agriculture, road infrastructure, ICT, urban renewal, agriculture-related airport construction, and safety of life and property.

The combined effect of these efforts is the culmination of boosting investment and the country’s rapid industrialization. No wonder Best Strategic Media (TBS), in collaboration with Mr. Boss Mustapha, Office of the Secretary of the Federal Government (SGF), awarded Abiodun the Industrial Revolution Excellence Award on Friday 21 October 2022. This is no mean feat, especially at a time when the global economy is collapsing and its immediate negative impact on the nation’s economy and the general well-being of its citizens.

At the same time, arrangements have been made to mitigate the impact of the global crisis on the people of the country through conditional cash transfers to the elderly and socially disadvantaged groups. The Governor made the revelation at the Remo Department Budget 2023 and MTEF (2023-2025) town hall meeting at Akarigbo Palace in Sagamu. He said the government was already compiling the names of the elderly, vulnerable and youth who would benefit from the conditional cash transfer scheme over the next 30 days. This is a clear demonstration of responsible and responsive governance that will go a long way towards bringing a ray of hope to the desperate.

Ogbonnikan from Abeokuta, Ogun State

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