Citizens’ participation in budget process weak – SEND Ghana

BudgetSEND Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has expressed dissatisfaction about the weakness of citizens in budget formulation and implementation in spite of numerous budget reforms.

The NGO is of the view that for a very long time now, citizens have viewed the budget as a technical tool meant only for government technocrats and politicians despite efforts by the Ministry of Finance to involve the public in the process.

The consequence of this unfortunate perception is that the public has had little interest and input into the budget, leaving resource allocation and utilisation in the hands of few public officials, whose interests and priorities may not necessarily reflect the interest of ordinary citizens.

Mr Adamu Mukaila, SEND Ghana Upper West Regional Programme Officer made this known during a regional level forum on education and health budgets in Wa.

The forum which was on the theme: “Making the budget work for Ghana,” was to help elicit the views, aspirations, ideas, expectations and concerns of citizens regarding the 2017 budget.

This would be used to develop what is known as the “citizens’ budget” on health and education sectors to be presented to the Ministry of Finance for consideration.

Mr Mukaila said citizens’ involvement in the budget process increases transparency and understanding of budget constraints; improve targeting of budget spending and reduce corruption among others.

He therefore appealed to participants including traditional authorities, leaders of women groups, religious bodies, persons with disabilities, directors and staff of education and health as well as metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to deliberate and come out with issues they would like to be captured in the 2017 budget.

Source: GNA

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