By Emmanuel Elebeke
The ministry of Communications on yesterday inaugurated the ICT Sector Working Team (SWT) to scrutinize important aspect of the 2019 budget.
The team comprises of the Minister of Communication who will serve as chairmen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele as deputy chairman.
Other members of the team are Heads of Major Departments of the Ministry, Heads of Agencies under the ministry and other identified parties.
While Mr. John Emeawa, Director, Planning Research and Statistics, ministry of Communications is to serve as Secretary.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu said the inauguration was part of government strategy to ensure fiscal efficiency in the system in line with the administration’s drive to enthrone accountability and transparency.
He also said that the medium term strategy has been made an integral part of the annual budget process.
According to him, towards preparation of the 2019 budget, the Federal Ministry of Budget and the National Planning Commission has requested for the constitution of the SWT which will oversee the preparation of the 2019 ICT sector medium term strategy.
The minister listed the terms of references for the team to include Authoring the 2019-2021 MTSS- Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP, identifying and collating projects, undertaking project prioritization to fit 2019-2020 MTSS ERGP.
“Updating the projects’ costing and obtaining the sector’s budget ceiling from Budget Office of the Federation.
“ Other assignments include ensuring capital projects fit into Budget Ceiling and phase projects implementation over 3 years (2019-2021) and obtain a signoff of the Permanent Secretary and Hon, Minister.
He said timeliness and milestones have been prescribed for the team to work assiduously with.
“ I am already aware that some of our officers participated actively in the budget training conducted by the ministry of budget and National Planning.
“ I am also glad that a consultant from the ministry of budget and National Planning has been working with officers to help collate inputs to the budget proposal for 2019.
“ Going forward, the work of our officers will be subjected to scrutiny and validation by the SWT which will prepare a report on same for signature.
Shittu also charged the SWT to take the assignment seriously to provide a budget that will support realization of government agenda for ICT sector.