Nigerian government seeks collaboration of CSOs on Budget

The Federal Government has called for the collaboration of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the implementation of 2107 budget, through advocacy, monitoring and evaluation.

The Minister for Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, made the call in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr James Akpandem  in Abuja.

According to Akpandem, Udoma made the call at a Situation Room Dialogue on the 2017 Budget in Abuja.

He quoted the minister as emphasising the need for effective collaboration with CSOs in ensuring effective implementation of public policies, plans and budgets.

According to Udoma, the CSOs can help in advocating reforms to strengthen budgetary control, undertake independent project monitoring and collaborate with the Budget Office in monitoring and evaluation of projects.

Udoma said nation building, being a process, required the involvement of everybody, noting that the role of the CSOs was key to the realisation of the objective.

He said contractors performed better with when monitored.

According to him, effective monitoring will also ensure completion of funded projects and achievement of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) objectives as well as Sustainable Development Goals(SGDs).

He said that the 2017 budget was based on the ERGP, a medium term plan which reflected government’s strategy to restructure, reposition and diversify the economy for sustained economic growth.

“The Budget has been designed to deliver economic and social benefits outlined in the ERGP.”

“ Therefore, effective collaboration is key in achieving the developmental objectives of government, which is where the civil society organisations are critical.’’

The minister said one major thrust of the 2017 Budget was to partner with the private sector to achieve its objectives.

Contributing, the Minister of State in the Ministry, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that the problem was not so much with consuming too much but that Nigeria was relying on imports for its consumption.

She told the CSOs to extend their collaboration to the states to have a better picture of the total resources spent on health and education, to enable government plan better.

Also, the Executive Director, PLAC and Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Mr Clement Nwankwo, said that Nigeria was a very rich country with vast and enormous resources.

Nwankwo said that the problem had always been effective utilisation and management of the resources.

According to him, the challenge is part of the reasons why the country’s economy goes into recession.

Nwankwo said the CSOs, while appreciating the efforts of the present administration, needed to know in which direction the economy was headed to.

He said they needed to know the direction of the economy and the initiatives to ensure the proper implementation of the 2017 Budget since it was passed late.

The executive director said the CSOs were interested in ensuring that citizens got the best of the government while expecting the government to operate efficiently.

According to him, if the government performs well, it will impact on the lives on the citizens.

NAN/Ime N