Minister of finance Dr. Mansur Muhtar has said that poor implementation of capital budget by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government was inexcusable.
The minister who was addressing participants at the two days workshop on budget implementation organised by the ministry of Finance in Abuja said â€œhowever, while a few MDAs were able to achieve relatively high rates of capital budget implementation, many more were unable to effectively utilise the financial resources placed at their disposal to deliver on the priorities of Governmentâ€.
Declaring the workshop opened Mansur said â€œNigerians have patiently awaited the dividends of democracy in terms of critical infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, qualitative education and healthcare, physical and food security, job creation and wealth generation.
It is now imperative that we accelerate our efforts to deliver on this Administrationâ€™s commitment under the Vision 20:2020 to stimulate economic growth and launch us into a trajectory of development that will place Nigeria among the twenty leading economies by the year 2020.
â€œIn last yearâ€™s Workshop, many factors were identified as impediments to budget implementation. These included bureaucratic and documentation challenges; variable understanding of, and ability to navigate the e-payment and procurement systems; and shortcomings in the MDAsâ€™ implementation planning processes. Since then, this Administration has taken deliberate measures to address these shortcomings.
â€œKey members of staff of MDAs have been trained on the procurement and e-payment systems. Every month, a Cabinet-level meeting is devoted to assessing the level of implementation achieved by key large-spending MDAs. The procurement process has been simplified; procurement processes have been decentralised to the MDAs and ministerial approval thresholds increased.
â€œHowever, the responses from some of the MDAs have not been encouraging. Indeed, during the bilateral discussions and budget defence meetings that led to the finalisation of the 2010 budget, many MDAs clamoured for additional resources in excess of their 2009 capital votes but were unable to demonstrate commensurate executive capacity to justify increased allocations.
â€œThe low capital implementation rates recorded in the 2009 fiscal year underscore the inadequacies in executive capacity experienced by some of our MDAs that prevent them from utilising available funds to achieve tangible deliverables in terms of project execution and service delivery. These outturns also accentuate the urgent need for a Workshop such as this to discuss, agree and implement effective strategies to tackle these limitations and guarantee effective budget implementation.
He further said â€œAs we move towards a more results-oriented and performance-based budgeting system, we will expect greater accountability for results for the enhanced managerial control given to our MDAs, as managers of the financial and other resources of the Government.
Excellence in project execution and service delivery will attract appropriate rewards in terms of formal recognition and greater responsibility over resources. Equally, shortcomings will be identified and promptly addressed. This Workshop, therefore, serves as an important milestone in our collective undertaking to ensure that we achieve our desired results.
The Nigerian people expect and deserve no less. â€œOver the course of our monitoring and evaluation work, we have encountered certain challenges to effective budget implementation. The purpose of this Workshop, therefore, is to address these challenges with a view to identifying and overcoming obstacles which impede the ability of our MDAs to ensure enhanced project execution and service delivery for the benefit of all Nigerians.
â€œDuring last yearâ€™s Budget Implementation Workshop, which was held at the end of March, some of these challenges were identified. The Workshop also proactively developed practical strategies to facilitate critical success factors needed to ensure successful budget implementation.
During the course of the year, many MDAs were able to effectively implement such strategies resulting in significant improvements in capital budget implementation rates, from an average rate of about 20.68 per cent as at the end of March 2009, to an average rate of about 54.26 per cent as at 31 December 2009″.