Ondo State has again reiterated its commitment to harness her abundant human and natural resources with a view to transforming the state to one of the most developed states in the country through strategic implementation of projects and programs.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, stated this during the second edition of the ministry's consultative meeting with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Coalition of Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs), Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the state on the preparation of the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2020 budget held at the Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium, Igbatoro Road Akure, the State Capital.
Pastor Igbasan explained that it was in continuation of the lofty idea of inclusive governance of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, led administration in the state that necessitated strategic consultative engagement process with relevant organizations for the preparation of state budgets.
The meeting with this group signifies the beginning of series of further discussions with various groups on the 2020 - 2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and year 2020 budget of the State.
According to him, Ondo State budget now assumes bottom up approach where government executes what the people really need and not what government think they need.
The interaction enables the government to capture areas of top priority of this group while it would also help to foster better relationship with the people, and create awareness of what government is doing to enable them to take ownership of the process.
The Commissioner explained that budget is not just arbitrary figures but represents the translation of government promises and manifestos into concrete projects and programmes.
Pastor Igbasan reiterated the unalloyed commitment of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, led administration, to always make the wellbeing of people the central focus of government activities.
Igbasan noted that most of the issues raised at the last year consultative meeting with Persons with Disabilities have all been attended to by Mr. Governor.
The Commissioner stated that a Special Adviser to the Governor on special persons has been appointed and a Board for the group has also been constituted.
He, therefore, called on various organizations and groups in the society to come up with their priorities and contributions to achieve an all-inclusive budget that would further develop the State and improve the living standard of the people.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Bunmi Alade, said the forum was meant to enhance transparency and accountability in the budget preparation process of the State.
While presenting the 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 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 accurate estimation of resources available to the state within the medium term planning horizon.
The representatives of each group commended Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the various infrastructural development across the state and called for the economic empowerment of their members as well making public facilities and infrastructures friendly and accessible to their members.