FG begins plan to guide budget preparation process


(NAN) The Federal Government has begun the process of developing the successor Medium Term Strategic Plan 2017-2020 under the coordination of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly. Mrs Fatima Mede, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said this at a workshop in Abuja on Monday. The workshop was to validate the report of the Needs Assessment Study of the Statistical Planning Agencies of the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project states. The three SEEFOR states are Bayelsa, Delta and Edo. Mede said that the Medium Term Strategic Plan was to guide the annual budget preparation process. “This is expected to fully mainstream the interventions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Change Agenda of the Federal Government. “The Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries responsible for Economic Planning and Head of Statistical agencies in the states should work closely with the ministry. “You should also work with the ministry in actualising this important task of developing the successor medium term plan for the country,’’ she said. She said that Nigeria had signed the SDGs, adding that the goals were consistent with national aspirations of achieving the SEEFOR project object and inclusive growth and sustainable development. Mede said that the Federal Government alone could not be able to achieve these goals as it required the collective efforts of the federal and states, including the SEEFOR project-beneficiary ones. “It is my belief that our meeting will provide a good platform for brainstorming on how to address the emerging issues. “We should also task ourselves to create the enabling policy framework that will make our government to remain focused and committed to actualising these goals by 2030,’’ she said. Earlier, Mr Tunde Lawal, Director, Macroeconomic Analysis in the ministry, said the workshop was aimed at strengthening the planning system in the country. Lawal, who is also the National Project Coordinator for SEEFOR Project, said the workshop was designed to offer stakeholders the opportunity to harvest ideas, insights and perspectives. He said the workshop would offer stakeholders the opportunity to harvest ideas on how to initiate policies that would strengthen the national statistical, information and planning system in the country. “The forum will equally serve as a platform to build and sustain the desired synergy between the federal and states’ actors to actualise our national aspiration. “Statistical information is a strategic resource required for development planning. It is our expectation that this arrangement will be replicated and institutionalised at all levels of government. “The extent to which this resource is harnessed and used for development purposes would depend on how well the National Statistical System is organised and operationalised at the national and state levels,’’ Lawal said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the workshop was organised by the National Project Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. The theme of the workshop was “Addressing the effectiveness of statistical organisations and planning institutions within the Niger Delta Region.’’

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