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Minister urges civil servants to be champions of “change’’


Abuja –  Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, has called on civil servants in the country to be champions of the change agenda of the current administration.

Ahmed made the call in an interview with newsmen at the opening of the five-day Specialised Reform/SERVICOM Training Programme in Abuja on Monday.

She said that civil servants were catalysts for growth and development as well as engine for the implementation of government policies.

“The civil servants should drive the implementation process of the administration.

“The SERVICOM and the reform coordinators have a responsibility of identifying on a continuous basis, what is not working well and advise on how best to correct these things.

“The purpose of this training is to remind the officers of their role and their functions in change management in re-engineering of our business processes in all the MDAs.

“So, we can achieve and deliver more efficiency on the mandate of each ministry and on the mandate that the Federal Government has made commitment to the people of Nigeria,’’ she said.

On the 2016 budget, the minister said that the implementation had started, adding that funds were being released on a systematic basis.

According to Ahmed, funds have been released for projects that are ready to go and the implementation has started in earnest.

She said that the budget had some unique properties and was exceptional in some ways.

“Let me say that the budget of N6.6 trillion so far is the largest that Nigeria has ever had and it is very ambitious.

“It has capital provision of 29 per cent of which is also very high compared to 2015 budget where it was about 10 per cent.

“The oil and gas revenue in this year’s budget is only 30 per cent of the total revenue and it is very fundamental,’’ she said.

Ahmed explained that the non-oil revenue focus of the budget depicted the commitment of the government to diversify the economy.

She said that in previous year, oil revenue in the budget ranged from an average of 70 per cent.

“This year we have non-oil revenue of 70 per cent and oil revenue of 30 per cent.’’

In addition, she said that there was provision for social intervention in the budget and that 34 priority programmes had been identified to achieve maximum results. (NAN)

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