By Our Correspondent
The Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo has said that the budgeting process must be practical, pragmatic and devoid of lacuna if it must meet the expectations of the people.
Hon Lebo who made the remarks yesterday when he hosted in his office, the Cross River State Head of Service, Dr. Mrs Mary-Theresa Ikwen in company of Permanent Secretaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state, also described the Permanent Secretaries as the engine rooms of governance in the state.
He maintained that the budget process needed to be devoid of ambiguities to ensure financial probity arguing that budgetary lacunas were mostly responsible for poorly implemented budget and misappropriation and abuse of budgetary provisions and funds.
The Speaker, who reminded the Permanent Secretaries of their roles as Chief Accounting Officers in their respective MDAs, advised them to ensure proper administration and accountability, adding that all MDAs must be made to be compliant with the present administration’s new economic model being driven by Private Public Partnership initiatives.
Hon. Lebo said that Permanent Secretaries were critical to the success of any government and submitted that the Ayade administration’s new economic model could not be realistic without the consummate efforts and cooperation of the Permanent Secretaries.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Cross River State Head of Service, Dr. Mrs. Mary-Theresa Ikwen harped on the need for transparency and inclusiveness in in the budget process to guard against rigidity and reduce friction between the Legislative and Executive arms.
She sued for closer cooperation between the Permanent Secretaries and the House of Assembly for the success of the present administration, admonishing that as accounting officers of respective MDAs, the Permanent Secretaries will ensure financial probity at all times.
In his submission, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information, Mr Freedom Ejom who described as unprecedented in the history of governance in the state that the leadership of the legislative arm was interfacing with the Permanent Secretaries, thanked the Speaker and members for the initiative.
He expressed optimism that the newly established relationship between the Assembly and the Permanent Secretaries would bring more dividends to the people of the state.
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