Report prescribes measures for increased tax, revenue generation
Seeks optimal deployment of funds
Government at all levels have been advised to focus more on strategies that would boost tax generation and revenue base, especially through agriculture and solid minerals, to enhance the nation’s competitiveness.
According to a report on the public sector in the country put together by H. Pierson Associates, while these remain strong and viable options, there was need for the state and federal entities to give more strategic attention to maximising the application of available resources through more sensible and optimal deployment of available funds.
This, according to the report involves better medium-term planning of projects and programmes where funds are most needed to be applied and defining high standards of quality for the desired outputs from all such spending.
Also key is prudent value-for-money costing of the projects and programmes and importantly, effective monitoring to ensure timely implementation against plan.
The report emphasized that the key focus is on effective medium-term prioritization and planning of projects and programs by states and federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), high standards definition, appropriate costing, water-tight monitoring, evaluation, reporting and constant re-alignment to stay within the plan.
“As the Federal Government, States Governments and their MDAs continue to experience the impact of diminished revenues from the federal allocation and their internally generated revenue, the key concern for everyone is how to quickly alleviate the current position.
“Concerns range from the adverse impact on projects and programmes of government, to their inability to pay for basic recurrent expenditure. As the potential for further downward push in oil prices persists, this pressure on state and federal governments remains real.”
The report further stated that from the H. Pierson experience, when properly deployed, the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) provide a good platform for States and Federal Government and their Ministries, Departments and Agencies to actualize this Demand-focused approach.
“As is well known, MTSS is a globally respected and formally structured and documented 3-5 year layout of the policy initiatives, projects and programmes for specific sectors – Health, Education, Agriculture among others. The objective is to provide structure and acceptance to the priority areas of focus and the critical initiatives required.
“These are laid out over yearly time lines, reflecting various phases of execution under sound Monitoring and Evaluation. When appropriately costed and aligned within the projected medium term revenues, the MTEF can be derived, “it stated.
According to the H. Pierson report, states that have done quite well in the past on this demand-focused approach include Cross River State where it was responsible for setting this up across all sectors and supporting the framework over an eight year period, as well as Lagos State Government where this has largely contributed to the focused planning and implementation culture across sectors.