Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Reginald Ihebuzor has said that an open budget system is in practices while giving a clearer picture if the development in the state
He said that the need for the Imo citizens to know their state budget system adding that it makes, also for transparency and accountability.
According to the governor, for the past years of the life of the former Governor Okorocha’s administration in the state, Imo people had been put in the dark about the budget system and the results of the audits of the state government accounts.
He went further to say that, unlike the past administration, the present administration of Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, has resolved to always maintain the policy of transparency and accountability, the commissioner recalled that for the past years “we have not been releasing the state audited accounts”.
He revealed that however that, from last Friday, his office has engaged the office of the auditor-general, to look at accounts of the years of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The Commissioner directed the budget office of his ministry to go ahead and make public their accounts of these past years so that Imo citizens, will know what was being budgeted for and how, their funds have been spent. He said that this system, makes for easy auditing, as the audited accounts are being released to the public, pointing out that “why we have not been releasing our audited accounts for the past years, just like the former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s, had done during his time, was because he “Rochas” had operated a lot of fiscal issues under secrecy for the purpose of misappropriating the state fund”.
According to him, “Imo people can now see what we are doing as we have now started work on the 2020 budget”.
He emphatically said, “our budget system is now open unlike during the days of former Governor Rochas Okorocha” adding “we are making our own case open and transparent, so that Imo people would know what audited accounts are like”.
However, he explained that the implication of this openness, is that Imo people will follow the state budget system and it’s expenditure.
The people he believed, would now follow and understand the budget and the state budgetary system , which is in line with the present Governor’s policy of openness, transparency and accountability.