Ex Anambra SSG condemns delay in passing of budget

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 June 2017 | 1,619 times

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•Ex-Anambra SSG Oseloka Obaze.

 The immediate-past Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has decried the decision to allow the 2017 budget run to June 2018.

He said such policy decision not only makes nonsense of the established budgetary cycle but also creates dissonance and room for fiscal abuses.

Obaze, who is a frontline aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 18 governorship election in the state made the statement at a public policy forum organised by the Department of Economics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka.

He maintained that good public policies are both society-centred and centred on public interest, public participation and adaptive leadership.

In his words, “Such policies are aimed at resolving complex problems, ensuring absence of dichotomy and effectively managing cost of governance. 

“Efficient public policy must reflect priority, be properly formulated, and funded, faithfully implemented and consistently evaluated, through measurable benchmarks, feedback and auditing. 

“Managing the cost of governance is important. There is room for shared responsibilities and complementarities, but this must be balanced with separation of responsibilities as it relates to constitutional provisions and exclusive lists – federal, state local government.”

According to the retired diplomat who is also a policy and governance expert, management of fiscal policies requires intrusive focus and measurable benchmarks.

Continuing, he said: “There must be clarity about how government raise, spend and manage public resources, including assets and liabilities, borrowing, investments procurement and disposal or sale of public assets.

“You can’t spend what is not appropriated. After appropriation there must be AIE – authority to incur expenses. Corporate governance must include transparency; we must remember that accountability is answerability.

“COG (Cost of Governance) remains exceedingly high. Besides policy incoherence, Nigeria still maintains a very huge public service at the federal, state and local government levels. 

“Cost of administering the legislative branch is mind-boggling. I heard a Governor admit that ‘there is no recession in the government house’ that is applicable to all government houses.

“ERGP – is welcome, but still a potpourri of past unfulfilled visions. It is said the repetition aids memory, but repetition of bad practices leads to a recycling of failure and perhaps disaster. 

“The 2016 N2.3 trillion deficit-laden budget ran to June 2017; The 2017 N2.2 trillion deficit- laden budget was only signed in June 2017 and is expected to run until June 2018.

“The decision to allow the 2017 budget to run to June 2018 makes nonsense of the established budgetary cycle. Such truncation of federal budgetary cycles creates dissonance and room for fiscal abuses. Such overlap is dangerous, as it will encourage double-dipping, duplication, self-administration and limited oversight.

“Diaspora bond of 300USD – is good idea, but where there is no confidence, there is capital flight including indigenous capital, which explains why Nigerians take their wealth abroad. 

“It’s intriguing that the FGN did not leverage on the over $22 billion in domiciliary accounts to stabilise the mercurial forex market and ward off recession.”

Source: News Express

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