NEC: Perm Sec underscores role of Secretariat in delivery of mandate


The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and National Planning and Secretary to the National Economic Council (NEC), Olajide Samson Adewole, has underscored the critical role of the Secretariat of the National Economic Council in the delivery of the Council's mandate.
 
 Odewale  spoke in his remarks at the opening of a 3 -day Capacity Building Workshop for the Secretariat of NEC taking place at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja.
 
The training workshop was organised by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development - Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (UK DFID-PERL). It was in recognition of the role of the Secrtatariat in the delivery of NEC's mandate 
 
The Permanent Secretary explained that, the workshop is consistent with the resolutions reached at the Strategic Retreat Session supported by the DFID-PERL held in Enugu March 2018, which identified skills gap that needed to be filled.
 
"This initiative, I must emphasise  is in tandem with the Federal Civil Service Strategic Plan 2017-2020, especially two of the four goals - the development and institutionalisation of an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen Centered (EPIC) Culture, as well as the design and implementation of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system' he stated.
 
Accordingly, he addedt the goals of the EPIC culture, specifically targeted at capacity development, talent sourcing, culture change, Innovation and civil service automation amongst others.
 
Mr Odewale described the worshop as a new dawn to chart a road map for service delivery by the NEC Secrtatariat. He therefore recommended a continuous collaboration in this regard and hoped the outcome would have a far reaching positive impact in building a strong and viable NEC Secretariat.
 
He thanked and appreciated PERL for the continuous support it is giving to the ministry.
 
 

Salisu Haiba

For Director (Information)

FG committed to move Nigerians out of poverty - Udoma


Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has stated that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to move people out of poverty in many more ways through the imports of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)
 
The minister disclosed this on Monday, October 22, 2018 during the opening of the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit which has the theme "Poverty to Prosperity: Making Government and Institutions Work'
 
The summit is organized annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Ministry if Budget and National Planning.
 
Speaking on the summit"s theme, Udoma explained that. " the topic provides another opportunity for us to examine the progress we are making in the achievement of the programmes, policies and objectives of the ERGP. This is because the ERGP specifically deals with particular subject in it which states, ‘Good governance at all levels is crucial for the success of the ERGP"
 
He further stated that the ERGP will improve governance by entrenching transparency and fighting corruption; reinforcing security, reforming the public service, and strengthening coordination with sub-national governments’. 
 
Accordingly, he pointed out that ERGP specifically maps out strategies to improve governance by institutionalizing transparency, accountability, fighting corruption, improving security, reforming the public service, and strengthening coordination with sub-national governments. 
 
" We, at the Federal level,are working closely with the States through the National Economic Council (NEC) to strengthen the coordination required for enhanced implementation of the governance components of the ERGP, including monitoring the progress of States’ implementation of the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP)" he said.
 
Acvording to the Minister, government has amongst other reforms, introduced a 4-year strategic plan for Civil Service Reform which is being coordinated by the Head of Service. This aims to drive innovation in service and institutionalise a performance management system that is citizen oriented. 
 
In the same vein, to add crdence to the commitment of government to effective reforms, Udoma explained that the President has also introduced some Executive Orders to improve service delivery and enhance transparency. These include an Executive Order on Promoting Procurement by Government Agencies; an Executive Order on Improving Efficiency in the Business Environment; and an Executive Order on Promotion of Nigerian content in contracts in Science, Engineering and Technology. 
 
Senator Udoma, explained that the ERGP has clearly dealt with good governance at all levels of government as a crucial aspect of the plan, stating that promoting transparency and accountability, and fighting corruption are among the the key objectives the ERGP captured essentially 
 
He further stated that government's  faithful implementation of the Plan has led Nigeria out of recession, pointing out that projects that turned around the economy and also created direct jobs were given all the deserved attention and support.
 
Through the Focus Labs initiative, the minister said, investments in agriculture, manufactuting, oil and gas with potentials of creating over 20,000 direct jobs were identified and all necessary support given by the government and also efforts are still ongoing to advance  achieving more results in those areas that have been identified.
 
"Our ERGP plan is very clear but we can always improve delivery of the objectives.
To achieve this we will continue to invest in our people, government will continue to do more in it's social investment programme. This is what the President is committed to do" , he said. 
 
Victoria Agba-Attah
Director (Information)
 

SLOGOR PROJECT

Report of the SLOGOR Mid-Term Review and Implementation Support Mission

November 13–December 12, 2017

Introduction

The objective of the Support to State and Local Governance Reforms Project is to improve transparency, accountability and quality in public finance and human resource management systems, with a view to strengthening governance in the participating states of Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun and Yobe. The Project seeks to build capacities and processes at state level towards improvement in public finance programming and management, and at local level, towards improvement in social service delivery.

A Mid-Term Review for the Project was carried out from November 13 – December 12, 2017. on-site in five of the States (Osun, Jigawa, Kano, Cross River and Anambra) while the review of progress of implementation of the project in Yobe State was carried out in Dutse, Jigawa State. The World Bank, European Union, National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU), and the Federal Ministry of Finance participated in the mission. Over the course of the mission, the team met with two State Governors and senior government officials, including members of States Steering and Technical Committees (SSCs and STCs), officials from the Project Coordinating Units and Activity Executing Agencies of the States.

 Objectives of the Mission

The objectives of the mission were to:

(i) Review and take stock of progress in the implementation of the project and suggest necessary adjustments and changes in light of the experience gained and lessons learned during the last three years of implementation,

(ii) Dialogue with key government officials relating to the implementation of the project activities,

(iii) Review progress of project implementation by the various Activity Executing Agencies,

(iv) Provide implementation support to the project teams; and

 (v) Hold discussions with key government officials on challenges, if any, and agree on next steps and changes, where necessary.

Summary of Performance

At the effective commencement in February 2015, the project was confronted by the challenges of working with project teams and officials of states and Activity Executing Agencies (AEAs), who were unfamiliar with Bank processes and procedures. With the exception of Cross River State, which was part of the closed State Governance and Capacity Building Project, the other five States had teams which had no prior experience of working on Bank projects. In some States, the key staff of the AEAs did not appreciate the reform objectives/context or had lost implementation momentum following the delay in project preparation. The first task of the Bank team was to work with key stakeholders in the implementing states to fully understand the context of the project and better appreciate World Bank processes and procedures.

            As at date, the project has disbursed Euros 20.09 million being 36.5% of the Grant amount. Though there are significant commitments across the states for various ongoing consultancies and activities, the States will need to accelerate the pace of implementation and disbursement to fully utilize the Grant by project closure. Progress towards achievement of PDO and Overall Implementation Progress (IP) are currently rated Satisfactory by the World Bank. Based on current socio-economic realities and implementation performance, the project objectives remain relevant and still on course to substantially achieving its development objectives.

Challenges

            The project encounters challenges in critical aspects such as:

  1. Implementation of procurement reforms and improving budget execution;
  2. Failure of the Accountants General of Anambra and Cross River States to prepare financial statements for several years, thus making it impossible for the Auditors General to audit the finances of the States;
  • Non establishment of a Procurement Council in any of the States as stipulated in the respective Laws for the oversight of the regulatory agencies and where procurement tools have been developed, they are generally not available and in use by stakeholders;
  1. Weak commitment to implementing the strengthening of local governance by devolution of function and authority to the local government tier.

Recommendations

            Generally, there is an increased awareness on accountability and transparency in the management of public resources. The present fiscal constraints faced by most States have created new incentives for strengthening of the Bank’s engagement on PFM reforms across the country.  There was demonstrable commitment to the implementation of the Project, particularly in States like Kano and Yobe. However, in Anambra, Cross River and Osun States, ownership and commitment to the Project objectives remain very weak, thus constraining the pace of implementation. In light of the foregoing and based on assessment, the team wishes to recommend a restructuring of the project, but specifically as follows:

  • Acceleration of the implementation of State Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (SIFMIS) across the committed States which will help strengthen the PFM systems of the States.
  • Continuous engagement with the participating States, particularly in view of the consensus of the States that project objectives remain relevant to the programs and priorities of the States.
  • Strengthening of capacity and human resources at the State Project Coordinating Units for more efficient implementation of the project in the remaining life of the Project.
  • In line with the decisions of the Negotiation Meeting and the provisions of the Grant Agreement, the Bank Task Team should be allowed to allocate more resources to the States committed to the Project from the indicative funds for other States, to advance the implementation of the project in their respective States.

Conclusion

Based on current performance, no State met the first two requirements to receive additional funds from the Performance Challenge Fund earmarked for distribution after the MTR for the scale up of reform implementations. In this regard, decision on the utilization of the Performance Challenge Fund should be jointly taken by stakeholders.

It is also important that Ministry of Budget and National Planning carries out sensitization and engagement with participating States on the need to strengthen their public financial management systems. It is therefore recommended that frequent missions be carried out by the NPCU to ensure full implementation before the Project end date.

 

SLOGOR NPCU

JANUARY, 2018

 

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