The Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development (LACSOP) has harmonized citizens’ demands into the Year 2024 budget, with the aim of ensuring that the budgetary provisions of the Lagos State Government align with the different needs of citizens across the state.
The harmonization was done during a one-day ‘CSO Budget Proposal Alignment Meeting to develop a Joint CSO 2024 Budget Submission on the Lagos State Budget’ which was organized by LACSOP and supported by the USAID Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS).
The citizens’ demands cut across budgetary provisions to enhance the mainstreaming of disability inclusion in all sectors, Education, Health, Environment, and transportation.
In her welcome remarks, Dede Kadiri, the Executive Secretary, LACSOP explained that the exercise is not in futility because LACSOP’s engagements with the Lagos State Government for over 12 years have yielded positive results.
Kadiri said, “LACSOP has become a recognized and valuable partner by providing grassroots information to the government on what is important to the people, providing informed data, and giving voices to those who might not be represented at the table.”
Kadiri thereafter implored all the coalition members to ensure that their requests in the Y2024 budget is a true reflection of what the citizens want, adding that “you will not imagine the impact that you are making in people’s lives through the conversations that you are having now.”
Barr Ayo Adebusoye, the Chairman, Board of Trustees at LACSOP, noted that the CSO budget submission is important because CSOs are more present at the community level and are able to identify the needs of the citizens which should be in the budget.
Adebusoye said, “Government can’t be everywhere, so it is our responsibility to help the government to do its work effectively.”
He also noted that the CSOs would be interested in seeing that the Y2024 budget includes provision for “social protection programmes in accordance with the Lagos State Social Protection Policy.”
In her goodwill message, Dr Chidumga Ohazurike from LHSS, commended the efforts of the CSOs towards ensuring a citizens-led and inclusive budget process. She also tasked the Lagos State Government to adopt the propositions from the CS groups.
Some of the demands by CSOs include but are not limited to allocating funding for procurement and distribution of family planning commodities; allocating funds for adolescent reproductive health at the State Primary Healthcare Board; funding for recruitment of more teachers; and provision for special education needs.”