By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA— The Federal Government, yesterday, said lack of effective sectoral policies was responsible for poor monitoring and evaluation of budgets in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government, noting that some urgent steps needed to be taken to correct the trend.
This was the concern of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at a function meant to enlighten the MDAs and other stakeholders in the budgeting system of the country organized by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the event was etitled, Promoting Effective Policy Monitoring and Evaluating and Performance of Ministers, Department and Agencies in the implementation of the 2016 Budget of Change.
Delivering a keynote address, Udoma underscored the need to evolve effective policies.
He said: “You are aware that the mandate of the Ministry, apart from ensuring a sound planning and budgeting process for the government is to also ensure that the plans and budgets are effectively monitored and evaluated.
“To make this happen, the Ministry also has the M&E mandate to design, develop and implement a comprehensive, efficient and effective system for monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects.
“The mandate ensures the development and maintenance of appropriate framework to support the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of government performance at national and sub-national levels. It also safeguards result-based and M&E compliant strategic plans, among others.
“The focus of the meeting today is to present the findings of the field monitoring visits to some important projects that were approved and funded in the 2016 budget.
“The exercise involved the assessment of the level of implementation; constraints, if any; and outcomes/effects of the projects. This strongly aligns with the aspirations of the Federal Government that aims at entrenching accountable, transparent and citizen-oriented service delivery.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the flagging of the issues surrounding policy monitoring and evaluation at this meeting is deliberate. This is because of the central importance of policies as important tools used by governments to deliver services.
“My ministry will give priority to strengthening of sectoral policies with robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
“Simply put, regular measurement and reporting keeps you focused-because you use that information to make decisions to improve your results.
“It is only when policies are right and executed rightly that development can happen. However, this cannot happen in isolation and without strong monitoring and evaluation framework.
‘’This would ensure that policies are well planned, executed, and that corrective measures are taken as a result of feedback from monitoring visits, while lessons learned will be used to inform policy and improve the design of new programmes and projects,”
He noted that the strategy would be achieved by working in close collaboration with the European Union (EU) SOFEGOR programme to provide technical support to ministries with “development of sectoral results-based monitoring and evaluation strategies to complement the policies.”.