Experts urge budget monitoring to enhance service delivery

Dr Alexander Adeyemi, Director Revenue and Investments, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, said there should be new procedures for more effective budget monitoring.
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SenateMatthew

Experts in the country, on Thursday, called for proactive budget monitoring to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies deliver effective services to Nigerians.

The economists gave the advice at a dialogue on fiscal governance and economic resilience organised by the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn-Engaged Citizens Pillar.

Dr Alexander Adeyemi, Director Revenue and Investments, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, said there should be new procedures for more effective budget monitoring.

“What we are saying is that at the touch of a button, whatever amount that has been utilised by these MDAs should be seen particularly for capital.

“If you build bridges or infrastructure or whatever, there should be apps that you can really be able to know where for example those infrastructures are.

“If it is road or bridge or whatever, it can be seen and it can be linked to the budget so that if you are trying to defend the 2022 budget, the 2021 budget would be looked at to say what you have used it for.

“It should be something visible that can be captured on the system so that everybody can also see it.’’

According to Adeyemi, reinventing fiscal governance will require complementary reforms to strengthen the formulation and execution of budgets.

He, therefore, suggested strengthening and codifying the coordination between key players in the budget formulation and approval processes.

“To improve expenditure management and the quality of fiscal data, the following actions could be taken:

“Strengthening cash and management practice.

“Consolidating the automation of the budget execution procedures, designing a system to monitor and control expenditure arrears accumulation and enforcing payroll controls.

“Facilitating the preparation of timely audits of government operations and strengthening the reporting of fiscal operations by sub-national governments.

“Automation of revenue management and administrative procedures and innovative fiscal policies as a way of financing infrastructure and trust in tax administration and expanding the tax base.’’

Adeyemi noted that the reform of public financial management will have a greater impact on transparency and accountability.

Dr Adiya Ode, National Team Leader, PEARL-ECP said Nigeria should find ways to cut its budget deficit, so as to provide quality services to the people.

Ode called on states to invest in their economies and build their tax base so as to become more independent from the national treasury.

She explained that the objective of the citizen's dialogue was for leaders to brainstorm on fiscal issues and recommend actionable policy options for policymakers.

NAN

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