Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Mondays said his government had delivered on its promises to the electorates in spite of the financial challenges facing the administration.
The town hall meetings were held in Oye Ekiti (for Ekiti North), Ise Ekiti (for Ekiti South) and Ado Ekiti (for Ekiti Central).
Fayemi, represented by his deputy, Mr Bisi Egbeyemi, said inadequate revenue from the Federation Account, occasioned by the global economic crisis, had imposed enormous challenges on the state finances.
The governor promised that his administration shall not leave any ongoing project uncompleted or abandoned.
He listed ongoing projects to include the Agro Cargo Airport and key industries attracted through partnerships with development partners as the government heads towards its terminal point in October 2022.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meetings afforded stakeholders across communities in the 16 Local Government Areas and the 19 Local Council Development Areas to submit their requests for inclusion in the budget proposal.
Gov. Fayemi assured that dilapidated roads in Ado Ekiti and other parts of the state would be rehabilitated as soon as the rains cease to bring relief to the people of the state and other road users.
He urged traders and residents of Ado Ekiti, Oye Ekiti, Ikole Ekiti and other towns to make use of designated markets and desist from displaying their wares on major highways to avoid loss of lives and goods.
Fayemi explained that Agric Olope Market and other new markets built across the state were products of requests of the people during the previous town hall meetings for inclusion in the past budgets.
He said that his administration did not want incidents of accidents occasioning loss of lives arising from trading on highways that have occurred in some other states to happen in Ekiti.
The governor said the Citizens’ Engagement on Budget had been a major programme of his government since his first tenure.
This, he said, resulted in projects the people demanded and deepened their participation in governance.
Fayemi said the creation of the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) was also one of the major legacies of Citizens’ Engagement, noting that the people demanded the creation of the LCDAs during previous engagements.
He said the councils were created to bring governance nearer to the people and engender grassroots development.
The governor urged community leaders to take ownership of projects executed in their domains and expressed delight that his administration had been able to fulfil the electoral promises made to the people.
“Our administration has delivered on our electoral promises despite the financial challenges occasioned by lower revenues from the Federation Account.
“The commitment of our administration to openness and fiscal transparency has been acknowledged in a research conducted by Public and Private Development Centre and Ekiti was ranked second out of 36 States which were assessed on various indices.
“This endorsement has further fired our resolve to further entrench transparent management of funds.
“I solicit support to build on legacies of this government even beyond our tenure which ends in 2022,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Femi Ajayi, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said the interface was organised annually to enable the governor to interact with people at the grassroots and articulate the needs of various towns and communities in line with the five-pillar agenda.
He explained that the people’s needs have been attended to either by the state government or local government.
According to him, the town hall meetings have numerous achievements to show since their commitment.
“I want to state with enthusiasm that the majority of the critical needs submitted by our communities in 2020 had been implemented.
“For example, the Ikere-Ise Road which was almost impassable had been fixed.
“Also, three roads namely: Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi Road, Ode-Isinbode-Omuo Road and Ilupeju-Igbemo-Ire-Ijan Road, which cut across the three senatorial districts had been constructed and ready for commissioning.
“It was observed that most of our communities requested for the renovation of their health facilities and schools.
”May I state that our primary healthcare institutions have been renovated while our primary schools have also been renovated,” he said.
The commissioner said the high rating received by Ekiti on openness and transparency was an affirmation of the open governance and inclusive policies of the administration.