Presidency commends CAN’s message to Buhari
FG begins training of 4,250 experts on budget preparation
The Presidency has described as touching and thoughtful a message received over the weekend from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) expressing joy at the news of President Muhammadu Buhari’s recovery from illness.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the President received the goodwill message from Rev. (Dr.) Samson Supo Ayokunle, the CAN President.
“The CAN President referred to the news of President Buhari’s recovery from sickness as a ‘rejuvenation of hope’, and congratulated Nigerians on the joy of having their President back soon,” Malam Shehu said.
The spokesman to the President added that such messages of goodwill from respected religious bodies like CAN meant so much at a time when people with ill-intentions were struggling to divide the country along religious lines.
He also thanked the CAN for its continued prayers for the President’s health. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has commenced the training of 4,250 finance and accounting experts on real time, online budget preparation for the 2018 fiscal plan.
The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, who disclosed this yesterday at the commencement of the two weeks intensive training, said top officers were selected from across 800 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),
The training, according to him, would hold in six cities across the six geo-political zones of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), using the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform.
He said that while over 1,830 participants drawn from the FCT and North-Central geo-political zone would be trained in Abuja, those from Kwara State would be trained in Ibadan due to the state proximity to the Oyo State capital.
He added that participants from other zones would be trained in Kaduna, Gombe, Uyo, Enugu, Lagos and Ibadan. “You will recall that the current administration adopted the Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) methodology to help ensure more optimal utilisation of government resources on projects. To improve the quality of our budgeting process, we are committed to making the most use of technology and automation tools. For the 2017 budget, MDAs prepared and submitted their budgets online and in real time using a ZBB compliant web based application. It was the first time that MDAs were using an online system to prepare and submit their budget with no manual intervention. The use of the web based application helped to eradicate a lot of the challenges encountered in previous years.”
“For 2018 budget preparation, we intend to improve on the experiences of the 2017 budget preparation process. Based on the feedback from the 2017 budget preparation, we have simplified the ZBB structure. Programmes and sub-programmes have been merged into activities and mapped to the GIFMIS platform,” Akabueze said.
Director of Expenditure in Budget Office, Suleiman Hassan, who admonished participants to be focused and attentive so as to learn what it takes to prepare and execute a budget, said: “The essence of the forum is to learn what needs to be learned. Experts have been assembled here so that we can have a sound 2018 budget.”