By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
The Speaker Imo House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Kennedy Ibeh has said that the legislative training organised for Imo lawmakers and senior staff members of the Assembly would arm them with robust knowledge of budgeting and implementation.
Ibeh disclosed this on Monday in Owerri in his remarks to declare open a 2 Day training seminar organised for lawmakers titled “Responsive Budgeting, The Role of Legislature”.
He said the training would deepen knowledge of oversight role of lawmakers to ensure that the executive is properly monitored during implementation.
The speaker said that the training would also elevate the faculties of the participants, especially on issues of budgeting.
He called on the participants to open up and internalize the knowledge that will flow from the resource persons to ensure that the gains of the training are properly maximised.
Ibeh thanked Gov. Hope Uzodimma for creating the enabling environment for legislative activities to thrive and promised to work in synergy with the executive for the progress of the state.
A resource person and budget expert, Prof. Hezekiah Olutoye disclosed that budget was a planned use of revenue acruing to the government to meet the expenditure needs of the government.
He said the budget must be approved by the parliament before carrying out implementation.
He urged the lawmakers to ensure strong synergy between the three arms of governmet for effective governance.
Olutoye listed the stages of budgeting to include budget review, budget formation, budget implementation and budget oversight.
He urged lawmakers to hold the executive accountable for a failed budget implementation.
He said political intrusion, discord between statement and action, discord between planning, budget accounting and audit were some of the challenges in budgeting.
“A good budget must be transparent, while revenue forecast must be close to actual, while disclosure of revenue generation must be transparent.
” Legislators should pass budget based on general interest rather than personal interest”, he said.
A former Ambassador to Australia Him. Jerry Ugokwe who spoke on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) advised lawmakers to always prioritize the budget before ensuring it’s passage.
He said governmet Ministries and Agencies must be closely monitored and be held responsible incase of any mismanagement of funds.
Ugokwe, also a former member of House Representatives urged the lawmakers to ensure that Imo became a place of pride, adding that such could only be achieved by hardwork.
“We practice developing democracy, we must always be open to learning, be hardworking and sincere to serve the people”, he said.