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Minister Calls for Reorientation of Nigerians on Benefits of Zero-Based Budgeting

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By Our Reporter

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, has called for reorientation of Nigerians to understanding the benefits of zero-based budgeting (ZBB).

According to her, the reorientation of the people is critical to the preparation of the 2017 budget.

Ahmed made the call at the inauguration of a five-day Specialised Reforms/SERVICOM Training Programme in Abuja on Monday.

“I hope you will take a part in the 2017 budget preparation to help us to re-orient people to see the benefits in using ZBB process.

“It is simply a budgeting method that is designed to achieve better efficiency and to reduce wastages.

“ At the time when our revenues have dwindled to an all-time low, it is very important for us to continue to make savings so that what is saved is utilised in manners that will improve welfare of our people.

“We also have put in place a continuous audit process that will be tracking the payroll on a regular basis to make sure that payroll is cleaned up and we don’t have ghost workers on the payroll, so that we are not paying money that would have been used for other productive purposes.’’

She said ZBB was a method of budgeting whereby all expenses must be justified for each new period.

According to her, zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base” and every function within an organisation is analysed for its needs and costs.

Ahmed also stressed the need federal the civil servants to key into the ongoing reforms with a view to championing the change agenda of the Buhari administration.

She noted that civil servants constitute an important tool for enhancing growth and machinery for executing government development projects.

“So if the service works, government is doing well in the service and if the service doesn’t work very well, then government will do very poorly.

“This administration came to into being on the mantra of change”

“The change, of course, starts from within the service; it starts with you who are the reforms coordinators and who are the champions of change of this administration.

“You are a very important set of people; change is difficult and it is not an easy thing for people to do but somehow, you have to make sure that you lead your MDAs to the desired reforms so that each MDA will maximally achieve its mandate.

“We have a need to continue improve on efficiency of service delivery.

“By doing that, we may need to review all of our existing processes, mark them, identify where you have weakness and the gaps and duplication.

“So that we make corrections and we will have cleaner, simpler processes to implement and therefore measurement of results become an easier process and more productive one.’’

Earlier, Dr Joe Abah, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, said the government had achieved remarkable progress in some of its policies and programmes.

Abah said the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and ZBB had improved the budgeting processes apart from blocking leakage.

He said government had also recorded improvement in the power sector in terms of hours of supply daily.

“We have experienced reforms in the power sector and for the first time, we have a clear road map.

“Also, there is improvement in transport sector as emphasis is now on rail transport system.’’

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