By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The 2023 Executive Budget Proposal will be submitted to the National Assembly for considerations and approval in September, 2022, the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Mr Ben Akabueze has disclosed.
Akabueze who disclosed this at the commencement of training of MDAs On 2023 Budget preparation using GIFMIS-BPS in Abuja on Monday, said the move is in pursuant to the President’s directive, and in a bid to get the Appropriation Bill passed and signed into law by 31st December 2022.
Represented by the Director of Expenditure, BOF, Mr Fabian Ogbu, the DG noted that the federal government is determined to ensure consistent and timely preparation, submission and approval of annual budgets as part of its Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms, “just as we have done for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Budgets”.
To achieve this, he said, “we have already commenced a series of activities related to the process of preparing the 2023 Budget.
These include a series of engagements and stakeholder consultations with key revenue generating agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs), the Nigerian Governors Forum, the National Executive Council (NEC), the National Assembly as well as the Federal Executive Council (FEC)”.
“The desired outcome of this training is to enable participants to refresh their knowledge, fine-tune skills and have access to the tools required to prepare and submit the 2023 budget on the GIFMIS-BPS with minimal errors”.
He told the participants that the government was counting on their commitment, cooperation and support to achieve this goal, adding that like in previous years, the Budget Office Helpdesk will be functional throughout the budget preparation period to provide any further assistance MDAs may require.
“I hereby urge you to take full advantage of these two days to ask all the questions you may have and learn as much as you can so that by the time you are through with the training, you are well able to prepare and submit your 2023 budget on the GIFMIS/PBS with minimal errors”, Akabueze stated.
According to him, the main goal of the training is to provide continuous learning to equip budget personnel with the requisite knowledge, skills and the tools they require to prepare and submit the 2023 Budget in a timely and efficient manner, pointing out that the budget is also intended to be in tandem with extant FGN policies and guidelines as articulated in the 2023 FGN Budget Call Circular and other relevant laws/regulations.
He however observed that the MDAs do not study the Budget Call Circular in detail and as such make mistakes that should ordinarily be avoided if they had complied with the relevant sections of the Budget Circular.
“We have accordingly issued the 2023 FGN Budget Call Circular ahead of this training programme to ensure that all issues and questions that participants may have are adequately addressed during the course of the training sessions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have the BOF Helpdesk running at full capacity currently to take care of all queries and questions that Budget Officers may have in the course of the preparation of their respective budgets”, he added.
Akabueze recalled that the Budget Office activated the GIFMIS-BPS in 2017, and has since then used the platform for service-wide preparation of the budgets, adding that every MDA has since then prepared and submitted its budget online and in “near realtime” using the GIFMIS-BPS application.
“This has helped to address some of the challenges that were experienced during budget preparation in prior years. For the 2023 budget preparation, we intend to maintain the use of the GIFMIS-BPS.
Furthermore, we plan to leverage on some of your feedback and lessons learned from previous budget preparation exercises to improve your experience this year”, he stated.
Over 4,000 government personnel involved in budget preparation from about 900 MDAs are participating in the training programme which is expected to take place over two intense days, across, Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Gombe, Ibadan and Uyo, MDAS in Enugu zone will commence their own trainings from Wednesday to Saturday.