In its bid to realize the goals and objectives of attaining Vision 20:2020, the Nigeria’s Government has again restates it commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of the nation’s resources within the scope of a performance based budgeting as espoused in the 2011 appropriation bill presented by the President to the National Assembly recently.
The Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Professor Precious Kassey Garba stated this in an interaction with the media. She said an effective monitoring mechanism of the use of resources allocated to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) to implement projects set out within the plan and vision of the budget would be put in place.
The Chief Economic Adviser stated that in order to check wasteful spending, monies would only be released to the Units i.e. MDA based on visible achievements of executed projects within the time frame specified within the budget. In addition, there is a concerted effort by government to eliminate duplication of functions amongst government agencies and parastatals with a view to streamlining them. According to Professor Garba, committees have been set up to achieve this objective.
Besides prioritization of spending for programmes set out within the 2011 budget, the administration, she pointed out,is committed to completing on-going federal projects while desisting from the practice of abandoning projects.
Speaking on efforts of government to address the imbalance between recurrent and capital expenditure, Professor Garba disclosed that an expenditure monitoring committee has been set up to study components of the recurrent expenditure with a view to reversing the present trend. The importance of capital expenditure, she stated, cannot be overemphasized for a country that needs to build its infrastructure for rapid industrial growth.
During the interactive session, the Chief Economic Adviser further maintained that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to achieving its targets and aspirations for the Millennium Development Goals by encouraging industrialization and providing a better business environment for the real sector. To this end, Prof. Garba said the federal government has taken pro-active steps to grow the industrial sector, stressing that it has initiated a local content policy which has positive implications for generating employment, new product development as well as in consuming locally made products.
The Chief Economic adviser further said that the President has given directive to her office to come up with a blue print of products that can be made in Nigeria, stressing government’s readiness to encourage Nigerians to patronize locally made products.
Prof. Garba stated that this administration would support and give requisite capacity to local industries and businesses to grow by building infrastructure, ensuring availability of socio-economic amenities that facilitate efficient production without increasing production cost, good legal system to protect businesses, including a stable policy environment and encouraging financial institutions to support the manufacturing sector.