In its determination to ensure that budget officers in various MDA’s operate in line with the global best practices, the State Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning has organised a three-day workshop to train and retain its officers.
The commissioner for Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning, Hon. Asiwaju Idris declared the workshop opened in lokoja.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alh. Jimoh Mohammed welcomed participants to the workshop
The commissioner commended the Director of Budget, Mr. Olajide Samuel, and his team for their initiative and said the training will go a long way in refreshing the budget officers with new ideas that will enhance their services
Hon. Idris stated that the training is also aimed at teaching participants the rudiments of planning and updating their knowledge and skills for effective performance on budgeting.
According to the Commissioner, another benefit of the workshop is that it will enable planners to respond positively to economic issues as the economy keeps changing.
While calling on budget officers to track budget performance in their various MDA’s, Hon. Idris warned that violation of the provision of the budget, when signed into law, is a punishable offense.
Declaring the three days workshop opened, the Commissioner called on participants to avail themselves of the opportunity of the workshop and enjoined them to collaborate with the Ministry as the head office by sending interventions and advice, especially where the government needs to prudently apply the limited resources of the state.
The Director, International department, Mallam Sanni Haruna, at the workshop, gave an overview of the program.
He emphasized mainly on the roles of technocrats, planning officers as well as budget officers.
Mallam Haruna said that most of us have lost the power of advising policymakers because we based issues on assumption and that is why we get things wrong most times.
He advised that if we are determined to get things right, budget planners have to be alive with their responsibility because of the important roles attached to their line of duty
Speaking on the commencement of the preparation of the 10-year plan by the state government, the director said it is very significant because our statistics over the years have changed.
He said in planning, the most important thing to do, is to identify where we are as planners and our baseline must be right.
As a planner, the director said, in terms of basic indicators, basic statistics and data must be right
He further advised that budget officers should work with the technical heads in their MDA’s if they must get the basic statistics right.
Director international department also said that a good plan must have a vision and mission.
He defines vision as an ultimate goal of what an organization will like to accomplish while a mission is defined as what an organization is currently doing.
Mallam Haruna added that for a plan to be credible, it must have basic assumptions, particularly in budget
This he said will help define what the budget will be.
It is therefore important to note that whatever the plan is, the target must be specific, smart, measurable, realistic and time-bound
While attributing lack of accurate data information to the failure of donor agencies in assisting the state, the director said data are not readily available in the state
He however assured that budget officers will form part of the technical committee when it is constituted.
In his contributions, the Director of the budget department, Mr. Olajide Samuel said the chart of accounts been used before has been modernized and it will be revised in the course of the workshop so that participants will know how it operates.
Mr. Olajide also disclosed that the 2022 budget may not be done manually as it was done in the past.
He said this is due to the new templates and that when data are keyed in, it will come out with results.
The Director also said with the templates from the National Planning Office, they should be able to populate it in the state even though they are not the same, he said a way will be fashioned out to harmonize them, meanwhile, the idea of budget preparation will guide participants on how to populate templates
Princess Sumanu Funsho
Public Relations Officer