2023 budget to be signed into law in December
Trains 900 MDAs personnel to curb errors in revenue collation, timely preparation, submission of budget
The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has disclosed that the Executive Budget proposal will be submitted to the National Assembly (NASS) by September 2022 in pursuant to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to get the 2023 Appropriation Bill passed and signed into law by December 31, 2022.
Akabueze disclosed this yesterday, at the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Budget Office of the Federation training on Government Integrated Financial Management Information System- Budget Preparation Sub-System (GIFMIS-BPS) Budget Preparation Subsystem for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Akabueze, who was represented by the Director, Expenditure, Economic, Mrs Modupeola Lasekan, said the Federal Government is determined to ensure consistent and timely preparation, submission and approval of the yearly budgets as part of its Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms, just as it has done for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 budgets.
He said to achieve this, the office has already commenced a series of activities related to the process of preparing the 2023 budget, which include a series of engagements and stakeholder consultations with key revenue generating agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs), the Nigerian Governors Forum, the National Executive Council (NEC), the National Assembly as well as the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The Director-General said the budget is also intended to be in tandem with extant Federal Government policies and guidelines as articulated in the 2023 FGN Budget Call Circular and other relevant laws/regulations.
He said the budget office observed that MDAs do not study the Budget Call Circular in detail and as such make mistakes that should ordinarily be avoided if they had complied with the relevant sections of the Budget Circular.
He said to this end, the budget office had organised the training of over 4,000 participants involved in budget preparation from about 900 MDAs, adding that one of the modules at the training will address key items and sections to note in the 2023 Budget Call Circular.
According to the Director General, the main goal of the training is to provide continuous learning to equip budget personnel with the requisite knowledge, skills and tools they require to prepare and submit the 2023 Budget in a timely and efficient manner.
“You will recall that the Budget Office activated the GIFMIS-BPS in 2017, and has since then used the platform for service-wide preparation of the budgets. Every MDA has since then prepared and submitted its budget online and in “near real time” using the GIFMIS-BPS application.
This has helped to address some of the challenges that were experienced during budget preparation in prior years. For the 2023 budget preparation, we intend to maintain the use of the GIFMIS-BPS. Furthermore, we plan to leverage on some of your feedback and lessons learned from previous budget preparation exercises to improve your experience this year,” he added.
Also speaking, the Technical Adviser to the Director General of Budget Office, Dr. Sam Omenka, explained that with the timely submission of the budget, it gives the National Assembly sufficient time to scrutinise and enact the budget.
He said this will enable the quick implementation of the budget in January, unlike before when there used to be protracted delays in terms of the implementation of the capital component of the budget.
Omenka said the budget office has also tried to make the budget comprehensive and has introduced revenue recognition for agencies and institutions across all sectors that generate revenue by virtue of their activities.
He said the agencies and institutions have been asked to report their revenues to ensure government revenues and expenditures are not underreported as seen in the past years.
“Reporting revenue has become very important because over the years, some of the revenues remitted by MDAs and institutions are usually not captured as part of government revenue. It is important we continue this training as it will help to record the revenues comprehensively and capture government revenue and expenditure,” he stated.