The Federal Government, in a bid to avoid the repetition of the crisis that trailed the 2016 budget, said on Thursday that it had commenced preparations for the 2017 budget process.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this when members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria led by its President and Chairman of Council, Mr. Anthony Nzom, visited her in Abuja.
The minister also hinted that apart from the preparation for the 2017 budget process, the ministry was also working on the medium term 2016-2020 development programme of the Federal Government.
Ahmed, according to a statement issued by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mr. Charles Dafe, called for support from ANAN in the area of technical expertise on the application of zero-based budgeting.
The zero-based budgeting approach reverses the working process of traditional budgeting by ensuring that all expenses are justified in the new period.
The approach is different from the now common envelope system in the civil service, which was introduced by the Federal Government in 2003 and works by providing each Ministry Department and Agency, with a maximum amount for its capital and recurrent needs for the fiscal year.
The statement quoted Ahmed to have said, “The Federal Government has started preparation on the 2017 budget process and also the medium term 2016-2020 development programme; our ministry needs ANAN’s technical training on the ZBB application.”
She called on the accounting body to use its expertise in supporting the current administration’s fight against corruption, noting that the looting of the treasury by some public officials in the previous government had reduced the funds available for development projects.
Ahmed, who is also a fellow of the institute, said, “The terrible corruption of our past administration has denied Nigerians the benefits of our commonly owed resources. As accountants, we can resist corruption and block illegal releases; we need to start from ourselves and we must uphold the tenets of our profession and make ourselves clean and accountable always.
“Our administration came on a change mantra; we shall be transparent and accountable to all Nigerians.”
Earlier in his remark, Nzom said the institute would provide technical knowledge to members of staff of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on the zero-based budgeting concept adopted in the 2016 budget.