2018 budget: FG to deploy online, real time, solutions

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Abuja—The Federal Government would deploy online, real time, solutions for Budget 2018 preparation, the Director-General of Budget Office of the federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, has disclosed.
He spoke at the opening of a training workshop organized for Budget Officers, drawn from various Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, 4,250 officials from 800 MDAs would be trained in the requisite Information and Communications Technology (ICT) mapped on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to drive the new budget preparation process.
Mr. Akabueze disclosed that the training would take place in the six geo-political zones in Ibadan, Kaduna, Gombe, Uyo and Enugu, in addition to the one being held in Abuja for North Central.

He said: “You will recall that the current administration adopted the Zero Based Budgeting ( ZBB) methodology to help ensure more optimal utilization of government resources on projects. To improve the quality of our budgeting process, we are committed to making the most use of technology and automation tools. For the 2017 budget, MDAs prepared and submitted their budgets online and in real time using a ZBB-compliant web-based application. It was the first time that MDAs were using an online system to prepare and submit their budget with no manual intervention. The use of the web based application helped eradicate a lot of the challenges encountered in previous years.

“For 2018 budget preparation, we intend to improve on the experiences of the 2017 budget preparation process. Based on the feedback from the 2017 budget preparation, we have simplified the ZBB structure. Programs and Sub-programs have been merged in to activities and mapped to the GIFMIS platform,“ said DG budget.

He expressed delight that for the first time since its procurement, MDAs shall be using GIFMIS for budget preparation module . Previously, he said MDAs merely used it for budget execution.

“We believe, it will help enhance the smooth and seamless linkage between budget preparation, submission, execution, monitoring, evaluation and reporting compared to when the budget was prepared outside GIFMIS and then imported in to GIFMIS for execution”, said Akabueze.

He added that his office was ready to provide the right leadership for a 2018 Budget that would meet the early submission to the National Assembly, as envisaged by the executive arm of government.

In his remarks, Director of Expenditure, Budget Office, Mr. Suleiman Hassan charged participants to take advantage of the training to equip themselves with the IT knowledge for online, real time budget preparation.

-BNN

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