January 28, 2017

‘Corruption in Nigeria embedded in budgetary process’

‘Corruption  in Nigeria embedded in budgetary process’

The Members of Civil Society Coalition for Good Governance during a rally against Department of State Services’ [DSS] ‘sting’ on judges with the theme: War on Corruption Through due process, Lead by Mr. Adeola Ilori, , at Testing Ground Bus stop, along Awolowo way, Ikeja, Lagos, Photo : Bunmi Azeez

Abuja – Prof. Suleiman Aruwa, the President of Nigerian Accounting Association (NAA) says implementation of the Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) system will eliminate corruption.

In an interview in Abuja, he observed that most of the corruption cases recorded in the country was embedded in the budgetary process.

“We believe that more than 60 per cent of corruption issues in Nigeria are built and legalised in the budget and if this ZBB is implemented, it will eliminate this gap,’’ he insisted.

He commended the Federal Government for its pronounced shift from incremental budgeting system to ZBB, saying that the association was a strong advocate of budgetary reforms in Nigeria.

He said “ZBB system is a process of rationalisation that allows every need of the nation to contend with each other for the scarce resources that are available.

“It is a budgeting system that says let every need that you have that contends for scarce resources compete among themselves and let the best be allocated the resources.

“For example, if we are doing a budget and we had started a road project last year, that road project should contend with other needs that have arisen this year.

“This is to see whether we can allocate further resources to it to continue or it should wait until it becomes more important than other needs that have arisen for the year.’’

The NAA president, however, noted that there was an enormous knowledge and skill gap in implementing the system, adding that the association was organising a national conference for stakeholders to help bridge that gap.

“We want to contribute our quota by engaging budget actors particularly the legislators, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and all individuals required to play a role in implementation of ZBB at the federal level.

“We hope that we can serve as advocates to states and local governments in the implementation of this reform at that particular level.

“At the end of the day, it is our belief that we can make people appreciate the beauty of the ZBB over incremental budgetary system and how it can be practically implemented in Nigeria,’’ he said.

The conference tagged “National Conference on ZBB system in Nigeria’’ will hold in four locations from Feb.1 to April 22.

The four locations are Enugu (Feb. 1- Feb. 4), Akure (Feb. 8- Feb. 11), Abuja (March 7- March 10) and Kaduna (April 18- April 22).

It would focus on budget reform options, budget process reforms and process of reform allocation.

Other areas of focus are transition from incremental budgeting to ZBB, fiscal responsibilities of governments, resource management and fiscal relations and disciplines.