Ahead of 2017 budget, the federal government monday commenced the training of planning and budget officers of 800 ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) nationwide.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said at the opening in Kaduna that 4,254 officers would train on Zero-Based-Budgeting (ZBB).
Represented by Director, Fiscal Policy Department, Mr. Joshua Fadola, said the training was designed to equip the officials with knowledge, tools and skills in preparation for the 2017 budget.
Udoma said the training was being conducted simultaneously in seven cities across the six geopolitical zones of the country, with 1,830 participants from Abuja/North Central being trained in Abuja.
He said 384 officers from North-east were in Gombe; 504 from North-west in Kaduna; 408 in Lagos and 486 from South-west in Ibadan.
Others are 330 from South-south holding their training in Uyo and 318 from South-east in Enugu.
According to him, the goal is to enhance the capacity of the planning and budget officers to utilise innovative planning and budgeting concept in preparing the 2017 budget.
“As we prepare to fully implement the Federal Government ZBB, there is the need to equip planning and budget officers in our MDAs with the knowledge, skills and tools required for the ZBB using the 2017 budget preparation platform.
“The key areas of focus would be basic concept of public sector budgeting, overview of zero based budget and medium term expenditure,” he said.
The minister said at the end of the training, the officers would be acquainted with the concept, and application of ZBB in public sector budget.
Udoma said that they are also expected to master the medium term expenditure framework, medium term fiscal and sector strategy and other related concepts.
He added the officers would also understand the link between policy, planning and budgeting.
“They will also understand the essence of improved strategic allocations such that the patterns of resource allocation in the budget align with government’s policy priorities for socio-economic development.
“They will equally understand the concept of budget realism, where resources are provided on a more predictable basis that will enable the budget managers’ plan and execute budget with confidence.
“This will enable the officers deliver services effectively and efficiently,’’ the minister said.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the training in North-west Zone, Malam Wakili Abdulkadir, said the effort would enable full implementation of ZBB in all MDAs in 2017.
He said the zero-based budget was not fully implemented in 2016 due to late preparation and delay in the passage of the national budget.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, had however, directed the Budget Office to ensure 100 per cent compliance to ZBB in all MDAs in the 2017 budget.
“The training will therefore, enable the MDAs to key in and prepare the 2017 budget based on the ZBB platform,’’ Abdulkadir said.
One of the participants, Malam Kasimu Mahmud told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the training would broaden their knowledge on the ZBB budgeting processes.
He also expressed the hope that it would deepen their skills on how to allocate resources appropriately to make impact for the development of the nation.