2011 budget will be ready September, says Aganga




Olusegun Aganga, minister of finance, Tuesday assured that the 2011 executive budget proposal will be ready by September for the National Assembly’s scrutiny and passage before the end of the 2010 fiscal year. Also, he added, the Federal Government is planning to set aside a small portion of the total capital vote beyond the expenditure ceilings as incentives for high performing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to bid for additional resources for their projects.


Aganga disclosed this at the 2011-2013 Medium Term Sector Strategies (MTSS) organised by the Budget Office of the Federation to discuss, decide on and prioritise planned projects and programmes of key MDAs over the medium-term horizon on a three-year rolling basis. MTSS affords the MDAs the opportunity to prioritise their capital expenditure needs in line with available budgetary resources and the priorities of government, as indicated in the seven-point agenda, Vision 2020 and the MDGs.


The outcome of the meeting will form the basis for the 2011 executive budget proposal which will be presented for appropriation by September. Nigeria has for long witnessed delayed preparation and appropriation of budgets, a situation that has adversely affected budget implementation and scuttled development. But Aganga, whose cardinal agenda is to drive budget reforms and ensure value for government expenditure, assured that the 2011 budget proposal would possibly, for the first time in years, receive prompt attention by all concerned, as his team was ready to cooperate with the legislature to facilitate the process.


He reiterated that his administration’s current approach to advancing public financial management reforms was based on the three pillars, including, delivering enhanced economic growth, accelerating institutional reforms and implementing fiscal/budget reforms.The minister also disclosed government plans to complement public investments through public private partnership and other private finance initiatives to plug the infrastructure gap. “One of the key fiscal/budget reforms I intend to drive, as minister of finance, is enhancing the quality and efficiency of our spending on capital and recurrent outlays.


“To achieve this, we intend to focus on reviewing the amount of our budgetary resources committed to recurrent expenditure, with a view to increasing efficiency and value for money. We will undertake certain initiatives to enhance the impact of the capital vote by improving the allocation of capital resources to critical projects; ensuring that key initiatives are well funded throughout their project lifecycles and maintaining better control over project costs and scope, schedules and quality,” he assured.


In his welcome address earlier, Bright Okogu, director general of the Budget Office, confirmed the introduction of performance-based budgeting, which is a strategy intended to reward the MDAs that have perfomed better than others since 2008 as part of the budget reforms. His words: “In the 2011 budget, we will be looking at the MDAs that did very well in 2008, 2009 and the first half of the year. So that will form the basis for rewarding those who are already doing well, by giving them more resources so that they can continue to do well.”


Okogu announced that in the next few weeks, MDAs would be required to identify and evaluate ongoing and new project estimates and phase their capital and initiatives within the indicative expenditure ceilings provided, document their policies, plans and programmes in the MTSSS reports. He disclosed that going forward, consistency with the National Implementation Plan which focuses on laying a foundation for the Vision 2020 will form an additional benchmark for the initial acceptance of projects and programmes into the pool of fundable initiatives for each year.


According to him, the financial and physical budget implementation performance in recent years will be considered in determining the indicative expenditure ceilings allocated to the MDAs, henceforth.‘While in recent years, approved budgetary expenditure has been on the increase, we have seen corresponding increases in the quality of public spending. In this regard, we will strive to reduce the deficit in the 2011 fiscal year, and gradually return, over the medium-term, to the 3 percent of GDP recommended by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007,” he stated.





Comments are closed.