Two groups in Imo State, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights, and the Imo State Citizens Accountability Assembl,y have condemned the budget system in Imo State which it described as an “Iron Budget”
The groups stated that if the budget of Imo State is made open, it has the capacity to transform the state
Speaking to newsmen last week in Owerri, the Programs/Legal Director of theNGO, Barr. Chidi Igwe noted that lack of open budget in the state demonstrates that it is not compliant to modern governance style that is rooted in open budget system, adding that since democracy returned in 1999, Imo state has lived with the tragedy of opaque budget system and in some situations, iron budget, which is a budget made without the input of the people just like a dictator does in his empire.
“We are now past the middle of 2017, no Imo citizen has participated in the budget process, we are not aware if Imo state House of Assembly has worked on it, there is no public hearing, no signing ceremony or presentation of the budget to the public. Every citizen, including staff of MDAs are guessing, in June 2017?, he queried.
He posited that Ananmbra and Enugu states which are not oil producing states have massive developments because their budgets are open and accessible, stressing that budget is no longer a political instrument, insisting that once the budget is not there, citizens can stipulate. He hinted that no state can develop without open budget.
In his comment, Convener of CAA, Tony Osuoha posited that once the budget is not open, the state becomes insolvent without the notice of workers, government and citizens, especially that projects are never completed or go on beyond gestation period, resulting to too many abandoned projects, uncoordinated projects and implementation of projects that makes no meaning or impact to Imolites.
He said that waste and abuse of public resources through substandard works, constructions and sudden reconstruction, Inflated rates, become prevalent in an opague system, adding that Loss of volunteers support, foreign aids, and international partnership projects. He insisted that no foreign investor will like to invest in an economy that has not accessible budget.