FG Harps on Sound Fiscal Policies to Address Economic Recession

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By Abimbola Akosile

In a bid to address the current economic recession, the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning has underlined the need to develop sound and effective fiscal policies to take Nigeria out of the economic downturn.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatima Mede, explained that the nation’s fiscal policies must as a matter of urgency develop fiscal policies to ensure that expenditure is linked with sound strategies for maximum positive impact on the common man in the street and the nation’s economy at large.

The Permanent Secretary made the call during the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop on strategic planning, plan formulation and effective linkage to the budgeting process organised by the Centre for Management Development (CMD) in Lagos.

She said the country is facing challenging economic times as commodity prices, especially oil prices are declining, which has necessitated the urgent need for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prepare their medium term sector strategy (MTSS) documents to guide allocation of the scarce resources available for implementation of capital projects to ensure value for money on government spending.

According to her, “Through this process, we will set the basis and fundamental parameters for effective monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes of MDAs.”

Mede, who was represented by the Director of Administration, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Chris Ezeilo, said the workshop will provide an opportunity for experience sharing, especially in the area of strategic planning and effective linkage to the budgeting process.

According to her, the event brings together budget, planning, research and statistics officers responsible for the preparation of sector strategies, plans and budgets in the federal ministries to deliberate on the requirements for ensuring successful implementation of strategic plans.

She noted that the sessions to be discussed have been carefully selected to signal the sustained commitment of the Buhari-led administration to push for the realisation of the objective of effective plan formulation and implementation for enhanced service delivery.

Also speaking at the event, the Director General, CMD, Dr. Kabir Usman, said at the end of the workshop, participants will be fully equipped to use strategic planning techniques for goal achievement, identify impelling and impeding forces in strategic planning, produce functional strategic plan and analyse the importance of the MTSS and its critical role in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) process.

He added that participants will also have the knowledge to highlight the role of result-based monitoring and evaluation in the achievement of the agenda and create an intelligent linkage between strategic plans, policies and budgeting process.

“Our teaching and learning methodology remains experiential and I hope you will seize this opportunity to establish new relationships with colleagues and other people who may come your way during the workshop,” he said.