State Gov’t Engages CSO’s in C’River to Enhance Appropriation Law Implementation

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In a concerted effort to bolster the implementation of the 2024 budget, Cross River state recently convened a pivotal meeting between government officials and civil society organizations (CSOs). Held at the CRS budget office in Calabar on 11th April, the gathering aimed to assess the progress of budget implementation and foster collaboration between stakeholders to address challenges and ensure effective utilization of allocated funds NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered.

During the session, Otu Otu Ita, Special Adviser on Budget to the Cross River State Government (CRSG), stressed the imperative of robust collaboration between government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) and CSOs. “We are already aware that the government of Senator Bassey Otu is riding on the mantra, the People First, and for us in the budget office without the people we won’t have the government,” he asserted. Ita highlighted the vital role of CSOs in providing valuable insights and information that can enhance budgetary planning and execution.

Jerry Aka Bisong, from Partners for Legislative Contact and Consultancy Services, echoed Ita’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for CSOs to play an active role in monitoring and assessing the performance of government agencies. “These are the key performance indicators for this budget,” Aka Bisong emphasized, pointing out the importance of ensuring that budget allocations align with critical societal needs such as health, education, and poverty alleviation.

William Itorok, Executive Director of the Center for Rights, Advocacy, and Popular Participation (CRAP), underscored the significance of sustained collaboration between government and CSOs. “Our appeal is that once you make an observation, what we want is the progress of our state,” Itorok emphasized, urging for accurate reporting by CSOs to provide the public with reliable information on government activities.

Obase Okanke Ofem, Executive Director of the Charles Effiong Foundation and facilitator of the meeting, emphasized the need to enhance collaboration between government and CSOs to monitor and assess the performance of ministries, departments, and agencies. “For any MDA that does not perform according to what is expected, all we just need to do for us as civil society is to follow up with the MDA,” Ofem asserted, highlighting the role of CSOs in promoting accountability and ensuring that government initiatives prioritize the welfare of the people.

The meeting concluded with a commitment from both government officials and CSO representatives to continue collaborating to improve budget implementation and address key societal needs in Cross River State.