Ebonyi State government on Tuesday held Citizens’ Inputs/Consultations on 2021 budget where most stakeholders at the event tasked Governor David Umahi on employment and welfare of civil servants in the state.
The event which was organised by the State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development was held at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Leonard Nkah, appealed to the state government to increase the personnel costs captured in the proposed 2021 budget from the present 13 to 23 per cent, adding that the increment would enhance the welfare of workers and others under the state government’s employ, adding that it was implementable.
He said: “Workers would definitely appreciate this gesture as nine per cent for instance, can be withdrawn from sectors which has 59 per cent of the budgetary provision and infused into personnel cost”.
Others who spoke, include the State Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Michael Nwonu; Representatives of the youths, Civil Society organisations, among others called on the government make provision for employment into the State Civil and public Services in the budget.
The State Head of Service, Chamberlain Nwele, in his response noted that the state government was always responsive to workers’ needs.He stated that the State government has been faithful in payment of workers salary in the State in spite of the adverse effect of COVID-19.
He further argued that the Finance ministry took into consideration, the promotion of workers and aptly captured it under the personnel costs in its proposals.
Governor David Umahi represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, in his concluding remarks, noted that the 2021 budget proposal was implementable and would put the state in the path of growth, development, becoming a source of pride for the people.
Igwe citizens to make the necessary sacrifices by paying their taxes to enable the accomplishment of the budget, pledging that the government would continue to give them quality leadership.
“We decided to consult the citizens for their inputs to be integrated into a financial language by the finance ministry and sent to the state House of Assembly. I stand in the seat of the Governor to guarantee that all you have said would be factored into the budget.”
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Orlando Nweze, explained that the proposed 2021 budget estimate would meet the aspirations of the people and enhance the peoples’ welfare. He presented the government proposal of the sum of over One hundred and twenty-two billion naira for 2021 fiscal year.
Recall that the inclusion of Citizens’ input was recently introduced by the Central Bank as vital component of the budgeting process.