The determination of the present administration in Ondo State to harness the abundant natural and human resources with a view to transforming the state to one of the most developed states in the country has again been stressed.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, stated this during the ministry's consultative meeting with the Coalition of Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs), Non- Govermental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the state on the preparation of the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2019 budget held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry in Akure, the State Capital.
Pastor Igbasan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Bunmi Alade, explained that it was in the continuation of the lofty idea of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, led administration in the state, that a strategic consultative engagement process with relevant organizations for the preparation of the 2019 - 2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of the State was put in place.
According to him, this would enable all segments of the society have their inputs and suggestions captured and embedded in the document.
The Commissioner noted that for any State to develop, it must give adequate attention to planning, stressing that the present government would continue to give planning the pride of place it deserves.
He, therefore, called on various organizations and groups in the society to come up with strategies and contributions to achieve an all-inclusive budget that would further develop the State and improve the living standard of the people.
Pastor Igbasan assured the representatives of the organizations that the Ministry would continue to hold meetings with relevant stakeholders to galvanize ideas that would be beneficial to the people of the State, promising that their suggestions would be considered in the preparation of the State budget.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, represented by the Director of Development Planning, Mr Bamidele Daisi, explained that as part of Open Governance Partnership Initiative, the ministry decided to involve the people in the Budget planning process.
While presenting the 2019-2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2019 Budget projections, the Director of Budget, Mr. Stephen Aworere, stated that MTEF is a three-year planning tool used in the estimation of aggregate resource envelope available to government and the allocation of those resources to meet government economic, social and development objectives and priorities.
He stated that the rationale behind the adoption of MTEF included the estimation of resource envelope on an objective and predictable basis such that budget managers would be empowered to plan and execute budget with greater confidence, thereby delivering services more efficiently and effectively.
He emphasized the need for an increase in the Internally Generated Revenue for the State in order to meet critical needs of the people.
At the meeting, different organizations gave useful contributions on how to increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state to finance the budget as well as the expectations of the people from government in terms of needed interventions in the society.
They emphasized the need for government to also involve the Civil Societies in the implementation and monitoring of the budget and access to credit facilities by aspiring industrialists and medium scale business.