Busia Governor Paul Otuoma has picked former Senator Amos Wako and former Finance minister Chris Okemo to steer the Busia County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF).
The 11-member team has been charged with spearheading county budgeting processes and will function as a think-tank for Dr Otuoma’s administration on finance and economic management.
Mr Okemo, who is a former Nambale MP and Mr Wako, who was the longest serving Attorney General, will represent the elderly and professionals interest groups respectively in the forum.
Others are Rev Maurice Langiri (faith-based groups), James Nyongesa (business community), Patricia Okello (labour issues), Benedette Muyomi (youth), Dickson Mrade Pekol (persons living with diability) Bertha Okoyo (women), Stephen Ojiambo (professionals), Roselyne Amunyelet (women) and Dennis Awori (professionals).
Speaking when he unveiled the team at Busia Agricultural Training Centre, yesterday, Dr Otuoma said CBEF will offer his government a platform to consult broadly on various aspect of public policy. “I wish to appreciate this team that has sacrificed its time to help us reverse some of the challenges Busia is battling, including poor delivery of health care services and low agricultural productivity,” he said.
Wako and Okemo challenged CBEF to identify at least four flagship projects akin to national government’s Big Four agenda that can be implemented in subsequent budgets.
“The projects should prioritise pertinent issues such as poverty, water and food security,” said the former Finance minister.
Okemo encouraged the county planners to go beyond the 70/30 written rule on budgetary allocation and increase the funds for development to at least 35 per cent and recurrent to 65 per cent.
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Mr Wako said to address the challenges facing the county, Otuoma’s administration should take bold measures.
“I challenge our urban planning executive to work on this swiftly and give our headquarters a facelift alongside Malaba and other urban centres across the county,” he said.
According to the officials, CBEF is established in accordance with the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) 2012 Section 137.
The forum is expected to offers a means of consultation by the county government on the preparation of county plans, the County Fiscal Strategy Paper, the Budget Review and Outlook Paper the economy and financial management.