The National Democratic Institute (NDI) yesterday started a two-day workshop on understanding the budget process of the government for parliamentarians at the parliament building.
In her welcome remarks, Hon. Elizabeth Alpha Lavalie who was the chairperson of the occasion, said the workshop was important because 80% of parliamentarians were new and that it was their first time to debate on the budget process.
She added that, “it is very gratifying that Members of Parliament could participate so .eloquently, considerably the process of the budget”, adding that the process of Sierra Leone was unique.
Delivering her opening remarks Honorine Muyoyeta, NDI country director, said the seminar came at a very important time as parliament and the entire nation were thinking through the budget which was presented not too long ago.
She said, “for us at NDI we place a lot of emphasis on this particular seminar and process because we believe that budget is an important tool for any country as it touches the lives of nearly everyone”.
Honorine Muyoyeta added that most important too the budget determined who got what and when, and also provided funds to implement national initiatives.
The country director stated that, “NDI provides this practical assistance to the legislature because it strongly believes that democracy depends among others on legislatures that represent citizens and oversee the executive”.
“Acting as a catalyst for democratic development, NDI works with such institutions and processes that allow democracy to flourish,” said Honorine Muyoyeta.
She thanked all members of parliament for the support that the institute had received since they started working with parliament, “it is our sincere hope that our collaboration grows from strengthen to strengthen for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone”.
Honorine Muyoyeta thanked DFID for its financial support making it possible for them to implement this very important programme.
Addressing parliamentarians, Honourable Justice Abel Bankole Stronge echoed that parliament had just concluded debate on the 2008 budget.
He added that, “as we work to serve the people of Sierra Leone we must give our corporate support to NDI.”
Justice Abel Stronge maintained that NDI and parliament were working together to see that democracy was deepen in the country.