From Femi Oyelola, kaduna
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has inaugurated the state’s Economic Planning Board (EPB) as part of efforts to push development to rural areas of the state.
El-Rufai said at the inauguration ceremony in Kaduna yesterday that the EPB would ensure effective coordination in the preparation of local government plans and budget with the goal of improving the livelihood of the people.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bantex, the governor said that the state had already developed Local Government Planning and Budgeting Manual to guide local government officials in planning and budgeting process.
He explained that the goal of reforming local government system in the state was to maximise the potentials of Local Governments Areas (LGAS) to deliver qualitative public service at the community levels.
According to him, the step was taken to promote development at grassroots by creating an autonomous, adequately funded, transparent and responsible local government system capable of delivering services to the people.
“The Kaduna State Local Government Reform Law, 2017, has mandated the LGAs to develop a culture of participatory governance by encouraging community members to participate in the preparation, implementation and review of development plans.
“These structural reforms are intended to give local government architecture a greater capacity for service delivery, promote development at grassroots and ensure policy alignment with the state and Federal Government policies.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission, Muhammad Abdullahi, said that EPB provided the needed platform for collaboration between the state and the local government for efficient use resources.
According to him, the EPB was established by law, based on the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended, which empowers LGAs to participate in development planning.
He said that EPB would bring the state and LGAs together to plan and strategise together to move the state forward and improve the lot of the people.
Abdullahi explained that the board has the Commissioner, and the Director Planning in the state’s Planning and Budget Commission as the Chairman and secretary respectively, and other commissioners and head of agencies as members.
He said that the EPB has the mandate to advise the Governor concerning economic affairs of local governments in the state and advice LGAs on measures necessary for efficient economic planning and budgeting.
“It will formulate studies and produce statistical data to reflect the orderly, progressive and planned economic growth of the state and ensure effective coordination in the preparation of LGAs annual and multi-year budgets.
“The Planning and Budget Commission is responsible for providing guidance and oversight on local government planning, budgeting and economic development.
“It will also ensure that local government plans and development issues are fully integrated at the state level to harness the resources of the LGAs for the maximum benefit of the people, “the commissioner said.