The Federal Government has embarked on the reform of Budget processes in the country with a view to ensure implementation of budget within 12 calendar months, as it used to be in the past when Budgets were read on the first day of January of every year.
The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze stated this in Abuja while he was Guest Speaker at the Bureau of Public Service Reforms(BPSR), monthly Lunch Time Seminar organised in collaboration with the EU-SUFEGOR and with the theme: ‘Developments in the Budgeting System’, he said that preparation of budget has been decentralized and democratized within the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) through the introduction of web based applications which have now made it easy to identify and monitor what changes have been and who made them. According to him, it has not only saved man-hours but saved billions of naira which would have been expended on travel allowances for coming to submit budget which can now be uploaded from any location across the country.
Mr Akabueze said that government also adopted the Zero Based Budget (ZBB) as part of reforms to improve the budgeting system, which enable MDAs to justify any amount on the budget from ground zero as against the incremental budget adopted by past governments which is either added to or reduced from the previous budget as the case maybe.
He blamed poor capital expenditure management which encouraged what he called “project drip feeding” thus helping to perpetuate “ongoing Project” syndrome scattered across the country as part of the challenges of budgeting system but he however assured that the current administration’s budget reforms would help turn around the socio-economic fortunes of the country.
The DG stated that there is a collaboration between his office and the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance. This is to ensure uniformity of prices for the purchase of consumable items across the MDAs and stop the practice of different prices for same items. He added that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had also worked on the standardization of prices for capital goods in 2016.
Earlier, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah said the aim of the seminar is to provide a forum for Chief Executives to account for the reforms they drive in their organizations, as well as involve Nigerians in governance. He assured the public that the process would continue in order to take the reform agenda of government to the grass roots.
For: Head, Strategic Communication Department