The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, says budgeting process is critical in the nation’s quest to achieve sustainable economic growth.
As such, he said the Federal Government had adopted an automated platform in order to enhance early preparation of the budget.
Akabueze said the automated platform called the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System would make budget preparation and submission very seamless.
To ensure the smooth switchover, the DG said budget officers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies were being trained across the country by internal and external facilitators.
He spoke during the opening session of the nationwide training of budget officers ahead of the 2018 budget preparation in Lagos on Monday
According to him, over 4,250 participants involved in budget preparation from over 800 Federal Government MDAs will be trained on the use of GIFMIS.
Akabueze said, “The current administration is steadfast in its effort to take the Nigerian economy out of recession and place it on a path of sustainable growth. A major instrument of achieving this goal is our budgeting process. As you are aware, the 2018 budget preparation process has since commenced.
“Another major activity on the 2018 budget calendar is training of personnel and the MDAs involved in budget preparation. The main goal of this training is to equip the nominated personnel with the knowledge, skills and the tools they require to prepare and submit the 2018 budget proposal on time.”
The DG explained that the two-week training commenced a week ago in the Federal Capital Territory where 1,800 participants were in attendance.
The participants in the FCT were drawn from Abuja and the North Central except Kwara State where their participants were assigned to Ibadan due to proximity.
Akabueze, who was represented at the event by the Director, Fiscal Policy, Anslem Anyanwu, stated that the Budget Office of the Federation was planning to improve on the experiences of the 2017 budget preparation process.
The DG disclosed that to improve the quality of budgeting process, the agency was committed to making the most use of technology and automation tools.
He added that it was the first time the MDAs would be using online system to prepare and submit their budget with no manual intervention.
On the benefit of the automation system, Akabueze noted that a web-based application would help eradicate the challenges encountered in the previous years