Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre with support from OXFAM have raised the alarm over the level of budget rascality in Niger Delta region and south eastern states in a Virtual meeting convey on Friday in press briefing on Budget Monitoring and Fair Taxation.
The organization through her Executive Director, Emem Okon called on government of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa and South Eastern states to be more responsive and proactive on budget implementation and fair taxation of the citizens as a road map to good governance, sustainable development and reduction of poverty through participatory, engagement and awareness on fiscal policies.
According to her the budgetary circle in Nigeria is gradually becoming more of an academic exercise that a planned spending pattern of government within a specified period of time. She said: the budgeting system in Nigeria has become a mere academic exercise where every year we come to render figures and it goes on like that. At the end of the day when you look at the performance of the budget, or what we have been able to achieve through the budget, it becomes a total disaster.
” For instance where are the projects located? Can we actually see the projects? Has the money not been carted away? These are issues that we need to address and only social crusaders, women activist and women organizations in the communities can voice out and hold government accountable.
Mrs Okon went further to state that the organization budget intervention is meant to contribute significantly to the start of a movement centered around participatory fiscal governance as well as prudent and accountable use of public resources at the sub-national level.
She lauded Cross River State government for their Anti Tax Law which enables low level business operators to be exempted from paying all forms of tax as a means of reducing the poverty level of some categories of persons involved in those business.