The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, on Monday said the 2018 Executive Budget proposal would be submitted to the National Assembly in October.
He announced this at the opening of the National Training for Personnel of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on 2018 Budget Preparation, using Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), in Lagos.
Akabueze, who was represented by Mr Anslem Anyawu, the Director, Fiscal Policy Department, Budget Office, said that the 2018 budget was targeted to get passage latest by December 2017.
According to him, the target is critical considering the commitment of President Buhari’s led administration to return to a predictable January to December financial year as prescribed in the constitution.
Akabueze said that the decision was in line with the administration’s steadfastness in its effort to take the economy out of recession and place it on path of sustainable growth.
He, however, said that the main goal of the training was to equip the nominated personnel with knowledge, skills and tools required to prepare and submit the 2018 budget.
Akabueze said that the two-week training, which commenced a week ago, would take place in the six geopolitical zones for 800 MDAs nationwide.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training is simultaneously holding in Lagos, Kaduna, Gombe, Uyo, Enugu and Ibadan for 4,250 participants with that of Abuja.
He said that the office embarked on the usage of technology and automation tools for improving on the quality of its budgeting process.
Akabueze said, “to improve the quality of our budgeting process, we are committed to making the use of technology and automation tools.
“For the 2017 Budget, MDAs prepared and presented their budgets online and in real time using a Zero Base Budgeting web-based application.
“It was the first time that MDAs were using online system to prepare and submit their budget with no manual intervention.
“The use of the web-based application helped eradicate a lot of the challenges encountered in previous years.”
He said that for 2018 budget preparation, the office intended to improve on the experiences of the 2017 budget preparation, thereby simplifying the ZBB structure.
Akabueze said that all programmes, sub-programmes, activities and sub-activities had been mapped into the GIFMIS.
He said that the introduction of the GIFMIS would enhance the smooth and seamless linkage between budget preparation, submission, execution, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, compared to when it was pre-GIFMIS.
“We have assembled a team of external and internal experts to help with the training on using the GIFMIS budget preparation module.
“They will bring their wealth of experience on Public Finance Management, Budgeting, GIFMIS and technology to bear on this programme.
“The desired outcome of this training is to enable the participants to acquire the knowledge, develop the skills and have access to the tools required to prepare and submit the 2018 budget on time.’’
Akabueze said that the office counted on the participants’ support, cooperation and commitment to achieve the goal.