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Hope soars high as the People’s Governor presented “Budget of the Citizens”.

It’s not just an annual ritual of speaking in  mind boggling figures that usually confuse the people whose essence it is meant to reflect. The 2020 appropriation bill ,  is as Governor Seyi Makinde puts it  “A  budget that captures the aspirations of the good people of Oyo state”

One of the identified lacunas that stands between budgetary conceptualisation and implementations.in some states is the exclusion of the citizens from the process. GSM must had this in focus when he sought for the active participations of the entire gamut of the citizens even before the gestational period of the budget.This was a clear deviation from the Top-Bottom approach that always alienated the masses and ended in putting the budget itself in a bind. GSM’s Bottom- up approach will endear the people to the budget and enhances PEM-Public Expenditure Management. It’s a people’s owned budget. People will always pray and work towards the success of what they are part of it’s creation. This was buttressed by the Governor during the presentation “The Bill is in keeping with the yearnings of the people of Oyo State which they communicated to us during the Budget Town Hall meetings we held across the senatorial Districts. It was based on this all inclusive approach adopted by the Governor to enger popular participation that, we at Oyo State PDP Caterers Christened the 2020 budget as “The Citizens Budget’.

The Budget also cemented in perspective the deep seated determination of GSM to put Education on a higher pedestal in Oyo state as promised in his inaugural speech. The allocated fund for Education, which is about 20 percent higher than the previous years, no doubt, aimed at meeting  UNESCO standard and global best practice. It’s a good starting point. It’s also pertinent to note that, Kaduna State was marked as one of the leading  states in  Nigeria in terms of it’s considerable allocations to  boost  Education, it’s  quite enthralling that OyO state has overtaken Kaduna State in the budgetary allocation for education. GSM’s priority set  for Education,  Infrastructure building, Civil Servants welfare and Agriculture, we dare say,  best all the Ajimobi’s era. He has on different occasions emphasised his zeal to bring smiles to the faces of common men in the street. Needless to say that the budget  has rebuilt the hope of the people, solidified  trust and built their  confidence on the God sent Messiah (GSM). 

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Going forward, there is no more any lame  excuses for inability to enrol our children in schools now that  there is total FREE Education! 

The budget which allocated  a deserving  priority attention to Education, Health, Agriculture, Security and  Infrastructure, will send a right  signal to the People that Oyo state is ready to reclaim it’s Pace- setting status.

The  budget spikes hope and has shown that success awaits Oyo state people as all sectors were adequately captured.

How best can we celebrate our God’s own project call GSM other than encouraging people to give their exceptional support towards actualizing Oyo state of our dreams?

While we are anticipating for adequate implimentation of the budget. OYO STATE PDP CATERERS would appreciate all relevant statekholders are carried along in the implementation to ensure zero  lapses.

GSM who has became household name since the introduction of his OMI TUN-TUN mantra will not only bring dividends of democracy to Oyo state but will also set a template for other States in all ramification. He has already taken an unexampled step by his open  asset declaration. Even an incurable cynic will agree that GSM  is here to make history with his victory.

Little wonder,  many  members of opposition party have  applauded the budget as it transends premordial  political sentiments and hubris.  It’s a fresh breeze that blows good to all and sundry.

Do we need to remind the existing doubting Thomases in the opposition particularly the paid social media ranters  to desist from bilious  criticisms and support the moving train. Let’s build a new  oyo state together. This is not best time for harmful political hpocrisy but   good Governance.

Everyone should get ready for a  working state as our extraordinary Governor begins to make things happen.

Yes. We christened it ‘Budget of the Citizens’. It really is. It reflects the wishes and the aspirations of the people and bore their imprimaturs as it involved Direct Citizens Engagements ab initio. It’s beauty is emblazoned by it’s fulfilment of what I call “REALM – Realistic, Ennobling, Achievable, Laudable and Measurable.”

A budget computation must weigh more than an ordinary paper that carries it. This can be so only if it is Realistic. In the past, post budgetary assessment index in Oyo state revealed that it was more of “A castle in the air” which Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen says “is so easy to build, but no one can take refuge in it. A budget is not supposed to inflate the hopes of the people in one minute  like a balloon and cause more despair as it fails implementation test in another. It must not be a heap of mere rhetorical figures that makes little or no meaning to ordinary people. It must be achievable. A case study may suffice here.  For instance, On December 31, 2018, Former Governor Ajimobi presented appropriation Bill of about  285 Billion naira  tagged “Budget of Sustainability”. A year after, in 2019 to be precise, the Governor himself affirmed “the 2018 budget performed below Expectation as Government was unable to meet up expected revenue.’ Achieving less than a half of it’s target is not what a budget stands for.

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GSM must have tighten all loopholes while preparing 2020 budget.  While it was on record that Ajimobi achieved less than 40% of it’s budget implementation, the 2020 budget aimed to achieve over 70%. This is not a mere wishful thinking. GSM averred ” 2020 budget is in tune with present income and expenditure “. If, I may add, It’s not building something on nothing. It’s Realistic.

From day one that GSM was sworn in as Governor, People’s Expectations have continued to soar. Now it has  reached an Olympian height. GSM administration  could not afford to shatter  their hopes. They trust him as God sent . Therefore , the People’s Governor should  think within and outside the box to walk the talk , to wit:  He should  firm up his  PRS – Poverty Reduction Strategies, seek the assistance of the Civil Society with expertise on Expenditure Tracking to conduct intermittent assessment of the budget for enhanced Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS ) process  and timely submit progress reports. They can also be empowered to raise advocacy and build  capacities of the duty bearers for optimal performance.

More importantly,  Government must extend it’s trawlnet for improved collaborative efforts  amongst the MDAs , NGOs FBOs GROs and other key contacts.

The Government should also strive to  create a fool -proof feedback mechanism seeking a common ground between the people and the Government for a robust Public Expenditure Management (PEM).  This can be in form of creating information centers in the State and LGs Secretariats to feel the pulses of the citizens on the impact of the budget time to time to know the next policy   areas to swivel attention to.

Government should also  improve it’s Grassroots outreach program for extensive Grassroots  public  sensitisation and knowledge building particularly in Revenue Generation and Agriculture Extension Program. It must also build synergy with identified Private sector practitioners for a robust PPP- Public -private Partnership while on the other hand expanding it’s CAS – Country Assisted Strategies.

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 Without further emphasis, the current administration has  promised  to be “Bullish with infrastructural development’  it must not turn to a ” Bull on paper or a proverbial “Paper Tiger’. it must work and  be seen to be working.

Also, as Budget of inclusiveness, the Governor  has promised that “every Citizens of Oyo State has a workable plan that they can identify with”. To realise this, GSM should keep it’s focus on the “REALM” to accomplish his target on it’s core – thematic areas -i.e  infrastructure, Education, Health, Security, Staff welfare and Agriculture.

In addition, Government must devote more than tangential attention to Ethics and Compliance. Integrating value and attitude change into development policies and Programming, Lawrence Harrison says “is a promising way to move under achieving countries out of Poverty they have been mired”. It’s a  global best practice. US in it’s own way is aiming at moving towards an ethical nation by building a viable structure to initiate values and attitude change guidelines for the people  and promote  work ethics  through it’s OGE – Office of Government Ethics. The example is available for us to copy.

Esse Cest percipi, ( to be is to be  perceived). It’ is soul lifting that GSM has proven to be a leader who can tune to himself. He has said oft times that he is not in Government to loot away  resources  but to shoot up Public expectations and work to fulfil social dreams. He has demonstrated this by  it’s  unexampled open Asset Declaration and other areas like  Establishment of Anti graft Commission, Mainstreaming Transparency, social Accountability  and openness system into governnance through   Due process mechanism  to deter abuse of contract process  , Stopping wastages of resources by focusing on completion of abandoned projects of the past administration and by  more demonstrably, managing SARs ( State and Administrative Resources) by reducing budgetary allocations being expended on political office holders. He can , and will still do more !

With GSM in the saddle in Oyo state, no doubt, greater tomorrow is assured . GSM believes in Goodness. As I once wrote  quoting James Freeman. GSM is a man who believes in Goodness as the essence of faith. ” He is a man of Cheerful yesterday and Confident tomorrow”.

At this juncture, let me join other Members of the Oyo state PDP Caterers to wish the People’s Governor a successful implementation of over 70% of  the 2020 Budget in advance.

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