Nigeria commits to advancing efficiency, transparency in budgetary processes

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Abuja

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to advancing the efficiency and transparency of budgetary processes.

The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, made this known in Abuja on Monday, at a training on budget preparation using the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised for all government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

Akabueze, who was represented by the Director, Expenditure at Budget office, Isah Gwangwazo, said that the training session underscored the determination to enhance fiscal discipline and accountability in the management of public funds.

He said that the President Bola Tinubu’s administration was firm in its commitment to fulfilling its promises to Nigerians.

“ Our focus, therefore, should remain steadfast in using the budget as a veritable tool for delivering the government’s commitment to all Nigerians.

“ To achieve this, collaboration and synergy between the various MDAs is paramount.

“We must harmonise our sectoral policies and programmes with the overarching National Development Plan 2021- 2025 and the specific programmes of this administration

“ We must also ensure that our efforts are synchronised; resources are optimally utilised, and the impact of our collective work resonates across the nation,” he said.

Akabueze said that it was essential to note that the President’s agenda sets the stage for a transformative era in the country

“This agenda outlines the framework for achieving inclusive socio-economic growth, infrastructural development, and the overall well-being of our people,

“It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to integrate the tenets of this agenda into our respective roles and responsibilities,” he said.

Akabueze said that the GIFMIS budget preparation subsystem training programme served as a platform to equip officials with the tools and knowledge required to facilitate the budgetary processes.

According to him, the technology-driven system enhances efficiency.and accountability, and minimises bottlenecks.

He enjoined MDAs to study the budget call circular in detail and avoid making mistakes that should ordinarily be avoided.

Prof Olumide Ayodele, Technical Adviser to DG Budget Office of the Federation, called for the resolution of all issues associated with 2023 budget preparation on the GIFMIS Platform by MDAS.

”Such issues include acquainting MDAs with basic steps, processes, and procedures involved in preparing the personnel, overhead and capital budget, and to explain the GIFMIS module for recording revenue, aid and grants.

“It also includes enhancing MDAs’ understanding of the processes of generating budget reports on the GIFMIS platform, including error reports and how to address such errors,” he said.

Ayodele said that it was also necessary to ensure a clear understanding of the process of creating, and changing GIFMIS role players.

“This will help to determine MDAs’ general understanding of the usage of GIFMIS for budget preparation to provide an avenue for training trainers.

“It will also emphasise the need to prioritise ongoing projects in the 2024 capital budget preparation and to stress the need for quick preparation of the 2024 budget,” he said

Ayodele said that it was necessary to demonstrate how capital projects should be captured as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART) projects through practical hands-on exercise.

“This will help deepen the process of budget ownership by respective MDAs, and to obtain feedback from MDAS on how to further strengthen budget processes,” he said.

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