Budget office trains budget officers on zero budgeting application

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The Budget Office of the Federation says it is training budget officers in various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) how to enhance application of the Zero Base Budgeting (ZBB) principles.

Dr Hassan Suleiman said this on Monday in Abuja at a training workshop on ZBB organised for budget officers by the Budget Office of the Federation.

“You remember there was a pronouncement by President (Muhammadu Buhari) that Nigeria will continue to have its budget at zero based principles.

“And traditionally, we have been having the problem based budgeting, incremental budget, as we all know there is a change now to account for every penny that you budget for.

“That is why, for us to deviate from what traditionally has been in practice, you need to bring people together to teach them to apply this.

“Already we have software developed to equip people on this, but before training on the software, you have to bring people together to tell them the reason why you actually want ZBB to be in place.’’

On the advantages of ZBB, he explained that it was more transparent and a clear way of accounting for good governance.

He further said that the implementation of the ZBB principles was a step in the right direction to ensure progress of the country.

Mr Ben Arikpo, Consultant, NEXIA Consult and lead consultant on ZBB capacity building for public servant, said zero budgets could meet up government expenditure in times of struggle.

“Zero based budgeting is useful when you are beginning to look at how to cut the budget of a country to size and so you try to justify your expenditure.

“Here, you try to ensure that the expenditure that government is going to fund is based on the justification and priority of government’s policies.

“So the whole essence is to ensure that there is an alignment between the spending of government to the policies that are critical to service delivery.

He explained that the concept was necessary especially at this time in the development of the country.

According to him, the incremental budgeting of the past is not justified unlike the zero budgeting, which is the justification that makes it zero.

“It is not to say that you are not going to get an allocation, but that the money you are actually given is justified and should align with the expenditure of government.

“It means that any expenditure that is not aligned with the priorities of government is not funded and this is where the beauty is.’’

He said that when budget holder or expender is able to justify why they are expending money and what outcome and results were expected then government could provide the resources.

He said, “I think in this time in our economy, when we are getting different economic challenges like challenges of dwindling revenues, this is the best approach to use in the 2017 budget. (NAN)

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