The Human Right, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE), has vowed that henceforth, it would expose the abysmal performance and poor implementation of budgets in the South East, which have been the architect of poor governance culture in the zone.
The chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, who said this during a press briefing in Onitsha, the Anambra State today called on the South East Governors to as a matter of urgency set up budget portals to enable the citizens assess and monitor fully the implementation of budgets in the respective States in South East.
He lamented that there has been consistent poor implementation of budget in the zone to the extent that many projects were rolled over to the next budget for several years with full budgetary provision in each of those years.
Dede Uzor said apart from Ebonyi State under Governor David Umahi, that tried to implement its budget up to 50 percent, all other South East States of Abia, Anambra, Imo and Enugu hardly go beyond 30 percent implementation of their budgetary provisions.
This, he said, was the principal reason for infrastructural deficit and decay in the region especially road networks.
The BoT chairman cited the instance of the 2018 budget of Anambra State, which provided N40m for staff quarters at the Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu, but till the moment this briefing was held in November 2019, the project was yet to take off.
He also said there was another provision for N167m for the procurement of tractors for the Agricultural School of Vocational Training, Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area, adding that as at November 2019, the tractors have not been procured.
“The same thing is applicable in all other South East States of Enugu, Abia an Imo. Apart from Ebonyi, others merely achieve between 20 and 30 percent of their budgetary provisions with Imo State under Rochas Okorocha being the worst” HURIDE boss said.
The BoT chairman said arising from a seminar for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and some selected president generals of some communities held at Umuahia, Abia State at Abia Hotels Ltd tagged ” Capacity Building on Analysis of South East States Budget Performance: Credibility, Discipline and Realism, in October, they would begin to put the implementation of all budgets of South East States under strict monitoring.
He commended the Hope Givers Foundation, the organisers of the workshop for such an opportunity to educate the citizens about budget monitoring.
He said the workshop stressed the importance of creating budget portals by the various States in the zone, which would be at the centre of achieving purposeful budget realism through the Community Based Monitoring (CBM) groups.
Hence, he said, their decision to check the implementation of the budgets in different communities through the budget portals.
“The budget portals if created by respective Government agencies of the South East, is expected to help citizens assess and monitor Government full implementation of budgets”, he said.
Dede lauded the organisers and the resource persons for exposing the failure of budget implementation in South East, urging them to intensify their efforts to extend this to other South East States to enable the citizens be abreast on how to fully monitor the implementation of poor budget by their respective State Governments.