The Federal Government has commenced the training of planning and budget officers of 800 Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, nationwide, ahead of the 2017 budget.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at the opening of the training exercise in Kaduna, said that the 4,254 officers would be trained on Zero-Based-Budgeting, ZBB.
The minister who was represented by Joshua Fadola, Director, Fiscal Policy Department, said the training was to equip the officials with necessary knowledge and skills in preparation for the 2017 budget.
He said that the training was being conducted simultaneously in seven cities across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
According to Udo-Udoma, 1,830 people drawn from Abuja and the North Central are being trained in Abuja.
384 officers from North East were in Gombe; 504 from North West in Kaduna; 408 in Lagos and 486 from South West in Ibadan.
Others are 330 from South-South holding their training in Uyo and 318 from South East in Enugu.
“As we prepare to fully implement the Federal Government ZBB, there is the need to equip planning and budget officers in our MDAs with the knowledge, skills and tools required for the ZBB using the 2017 budget preparation platform.
“The key areas of focus would be basic concept of public sector budgeting, overview of zero based budget and medium term expenditure,” the minister’s representative said.
He said the officers are expected to be acquainted with the concept and application of ZBB by the end of the training.
Participants also must have mastered the medium term expenditure framework, medium term fiscal and sector strategy and other related concepts.
He added the officers would also understand the link between policy, planning and budgeting.
“They will equally understand the concept of budget realism, where resources are provided on a more predictable basis that will enable the budget managers’ plan and execute budget with confidence.
“This will enable the officers deliver services effectively and efficiently,’’ the minister said.
Wakili Abdulkadir, Coordinator of the training in the Northwest Zone, said that the zero-based budget was not fully implemented in 2016 due to late preparation and delay in the passage of the national budget.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, had however, directed the Budget Office to ensure 100 per cent compliance to ZBB in all MDAs in the 2017 budget.
“The training will therefore, enable the MDAs to key in and prepare the 2017 budget based on the ZBB platform,’’ Abdulkadir said.