Monday, 29 August 2016

Abia 2017 Budget In The Light Of State Policy Plan - Abia Online




“BUDGET OF SELF RELIANCE AND PRUDENCE”





Previous Governments in Abia State have addressed development
issues (Annual Budgets, MDGs now SDGs, SURE-P, NDDC,
ABSEEDS, and so on) from different angles within the limits of
available resources. Abia people look forward to a more politically
stable government, which will continue the economic, social and
democratic development processes. You all will agree with me
that no success story has ever been told without planning, and no
meaningful planning could be done without statistics. When there
is need for improvement, research work is imperative, especially
imperial research that needs data. It is often said, if it is not
measured it is not done. The much expected result oriented
governance at all tiers of government cannot be benched marked
periodically, when there are no baseline data marking the
beginning or the end of an administration and the beginning of a
new one. It is to this end that our amiable governor, Dr. Okezie
Victor Ikpeazu has approved the first ever state baseline survey.


Abia vision is hinged on the tripod of good governance, a
dynamic but stable and rapidly growing economy, and
environmental sustainability. Our Governor, Dr. Okezie Victor
Ikpeazu is committed to pro poor development and attaining the
position of one of the 20th largest state economies in the world
by the year 2020 (vision 20-20-20) through strengthening
institutions (the state civil service) and systems, particular
markets and economic governance structures, promote private
sector leadership of the economy by ensuring that the public
sector provides the enabling environment (PPP – IP), enhance
State savings and investment to the level necessary for sustaining
desired growth (Job Creation).

It is therefore necessary and sufficient that we have a synergy of
stakeholders (including high ranking political officer holders, civil
servants in the state MDAs (Ministry, Department and Agencies),
research experts, academicians/researchers in the tertiary
institutions, to donor agencies, EPAC, EMT, Policy Unit and non-
governmental organizations) to make their inputs in the production
and dissemination of current data on the status of development
in the sectors we are managing as it relates to the Budget.
Sector specific indicators (the five pillars and their enablers) of
the Budget has to be produced by professionals in planning
(Planning Officers in the MDAs), these indicators are the expected
outcomes when programmes and projects are executed.

Research being an integral part of development process cannot
be carried out without data especially in sector policy research.
Fortunately, we have a futuristic governor who is bent on
strengthening the civil service structure by ensuring the
consultants (political officer holders) work with and train, if need
be, the civil servants (planning, research and statistics officers) to
achieve this purpose.

This will enable the Abia state government led by, Dr. Ikpeazu to
develop new strategies that will address emerging issues. The
research outcomes will cause a paradigm shift in inputs, bring to
the front burner limitations of previous policy and implementation.
The State Planning Commission and the State Bureau of Statistics
have a similar task to produce the Economic account of the state
through the production of the State Statistics Year Book, State
Economic Review and other similar publications. In the design of
most budgets for MDAs (ministries, department and agencies),
data collection cost relating Monitoring & Evaluation are missing.
This has made monitoring of projects to be mere site visits where
at most project photograph are taken. This year’s budget would
be different.

Some think the Budget is political -a clash of aspirations and
interests of different groups having a stake in power. There are
lots of the definitions about the budget, but, I prefer this definition
by the French Decree 1862 – A document which forecast and
authorize the annual receipts and expenditure of a State.
Budgeting involves development planning – looking ahead and
anticipating the future, making choices from available alternative
means to achieve specific objectives, and formulating
programmes of action to attain those objectives. It is an
organized process of preparing a set of decisions for future
action directed at achieving desired goals.

After a five year review of the previous budgets done by the Abia
state government, through a collaboration between the Office of
the Economic Adviser to the State Government, Abia State
Planning Commission and the Bureau of Statistics;

THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE TO BE TAKEN IN THE
PREPARATION OF THIS YEAR’S BUDEGT:


Establish budget performance target to define the level of
performance to be achieved by a programme activity in your
ministry.

Express such budget targets in an objective, quantifiable and
measureable form; unless otherwise agreed.

Establish budget performance indicators with relevant targets to
be used in measuring or assessing the relevant output, service
level and outcome of each programme activity.
Describe means to be used to verify and validate measured
values.

Finally provide the basis for comparing actual programme result
with the established performance target by setting up the
baseline and target value to determine actuals.

The state government plans to strengthen the Medium Term
Planning as well as reporting of revenues on net and gross basis
serves to enhance comprehensiveness and transparency should
be enforced.

MDAs should able to predict and possibly generate resource
availability for capital investment so as not to undermine their
abilities to successfully execute their budgets.



MEDIUM TERM EXPENDITURE FRAME WORK


The MTEF is a veritable tool for annual budget preparation. It is a
plan document that runs for three years from where annual plans
are drawn. It requires historical data to be used to forecast the
trend. The MTSS (Medium Term Sectors Strategies) is very
necessary if we are to realize the MTEF. You are aware that Abia
state Government has passed a monitoring law called the Fiscal
Responsibility Act. This law places a lot of emphasis on MTEF
and MTSS, use of GDP on borrowing procedure.

With all the challenges facing Nigeria: dwindling external reserves,
naira currency value having new lows, Shrinking textile industry;
Mills shrunk from 175 with over 250,000 workers in the 80’s to
20 factories with about 20,000; Exports down from $44m 6 years
ago to only $11m & plunging!! Contribution to man down from
25% to less than 5%; banning of commodities! There is a brighter
side to all of these.

The consequences of the above are more opportunities for Abia
to close the emerging domestic demand gaps, conquer the
textile challenge (which is not an Abia problem), already Aba
Textile’s shareholding is a major player which can enable the state
access 10% of N100b Cotton, Textile & Garment Development
Fund. As regards leather – we can tap into the market of
320million pairs of shoes needed by Nigerians per year. Target 50
million footwear’s & $100m from Aba leather cluster per annum
by 2019. Enhanced use of facilitation – Quality control, advice &
services on quality, in-process and product quality checks, tool-
room facilities, or certification, packing/packaging and labeling.
Abia is significant contributor to annual national output of 34m
metric tons of cassava.



The year 2017 Budget theme: BUDGET OF PRUDENCE AND SELF


RELIANCE is well suited for a time such as these. Government at
any level does not give job; it creates jobs. Abia is not a regular
civil service state. The people are enterprising enough. Our
“Common Man Governor” desires decentralized governance, using
available resources to incentivize additional resources. The state
is not shy away from debt but we must borrow ONLY for
investments, if need be, and not to for government patronage.
Abia state is very warm and receptive to Development Partners
and their programmes (PSGR; ADB; UNFPA; UNDP; UNICEF, etc)
to assist in refinancing, restructuring and retraining with our vision
in mind.

The Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Chukwuma Agu lauded the Abia
State Government's resolve, led by our Governor, Dr. Okezie Victor
Ikpeazu to create a state with a Project 9 – 90 – 900, that is, to
grow a manufacturing state and increase employment. He further
stated that M&E would be used as a tool to measure results and
to link evaluation evidence to policy, planning and budgeting
process to promote public accountability and learning for
improved performance.
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