El-Rufai says planning, budgeting skills should be protected




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Abuja  –   Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday said that planning and budgeting skills acquired from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning should be protected and preserved.

El-Rufai said this when he visited the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma in Abuja.

He said that to a large extent, institutional memory was needed in the society and the state was making efforts to achieving it.

“We feel in Kaduna State that with the quality of service we found and the quality of our office of statistics, we thought we needed to protect them.

“ We also house the monetary and evaluation cadre in the commission which will be posted to other ministries to perform M and E functions.

“We haven’t completed drafting the law yet to take to the state House of Assembly but that is where we are going in Kaduna State,’’ he said.

He commended the decision by the government to merge the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, saying it was a much better model.

He said Kaduna State Government was doing the exact opposite of what was practised at the federal level as the Ministry of Budget and Planning was being converted to Planning Commission.

“We have a ministry of budget and planning; we are converting it to planning commission because we want to create a cadre of budget and planning officers that will be paid better than the civil service salaries.

“The only way to do it is to create a parastatal out of the planning and budget functions reporting to the Governor’s Office.

“There will be a commissioner of budget but he will only oversee that planning commission; so we are going the other way.”

The governor congratulated the ministers for their appointment into the office of Budget and National Planning , saying it was well deserved.

He also urged them to ensure that at the course of transition, they should come up with the best options that would be beneficial to the country.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning while receiving the governor, sought for his guidance where necessary to drive the economy of the country.

Ahmed reiterated that the ministry was currently developing a Medium Term Plan for 2017 to 2020, which was already in draft form.

“Alongside it we are also developing the MTEF Medium Term Expenditure Framework for three years and once the MTEF is ready it will also be subjected to consultation.

“About six weeks ago the Federal Executive Council approved the 2017 budget calendar; work has already started and we are a bit behind as the 2016 took longer than we thought,’’ she said.

She said the ministry planned to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation function and had reached out to some institutions which indicated wiliness to support the drive.

She said that as a government, it was important to be accountable to the people and “we need to be able to report transparently on what we are doing”.

She further said that monitoring and evaluation were very important to effective implementation of the budget and development plan.

The minister also said that a committee work was recently completed on the issue of seamless merger of the budget and national planning.(NAN)