FG’s 2017 budget ‘ll be hitch free and ready by Dec this year – Minister

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma on Thursday hinted that the Federal Government budget for 2017 would be ready before the end of this year and be hitch free.
The Minister dropped this hint in Ibadan at the opening of theBudgeting (ZZB) training workshop for budget officers in the South West Zone organized by the Budget Office of the Federation held simultaneously at the La Chatteau events centre Bodija and University College Hospital (UCH) hall.
Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma declared that already, Federal Government has embarked on training of budget officers in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) towards a timely and hitch-free 2017 budget.
Speaking through the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, the Minister declared that FG is working towards beginning the 2017 budget process earlier.
“Our objective is that we want a hitch-free 2017 budget. We want to ensure the budget is prepared on a timely basis. Every Nigeria will like to have a predictable fiscal year. Our goal is to be able to have the National Assembly complete the process of the enactment of the budget before the end of the year,” he said.
Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma added that this will enable the Federal Government to have the budget operational right from the beginning of 2017 fiscal year adding that the effort of government would help in resolving the problems
Emphasizing that such efforts would give FG optimum prospect of actualising the objectives of the budget, he disclosed that the training was aimed at ensuring budget officers understand the essence and fundamental concept of the budget.
According to the Minister, understanding the purpose of the budget by the officers will improve their commitment to the process, adding that ZBB, which was introduced by government in 2016, required continuous education on its administration.
The Minister while stressing that “ZBB assumes that every line of expenditure in the budget for any year begins with zero in it to allow for justification of how much money to put on it” pointed out that the workshop would enable them have sufficient staff base.
He then urged the 200 participants expected at the 3-day training sessions to make good use of the knowledge acquired.
Speaking, the Zonal Coordinator of the workshop in the South West, Mr Ahmed Mohammed stressed that the workshop is expected to bring positive result at the end.

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