By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The federal government has called on government agencies to note that it is crucial for them to remain unwavering and relentless in the pursuit of earmarked 40 deliverables.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed who stated this at the Ministerial Alignment Meeting on Monday, said it has become necessary so as to ensure continued progress in mobilising domestic resources, attaining fiscal buffers and stimulating macroeconomic stability.
According to the Minister, the pursuit of the Operationalisation of the Nine Presidential Priorities, is also to ensure progress in improving national productivity, promoting business resilience, and attracting the needed foreign direct investments that will create jobs and enhance the standard of living of all Nigerians.
She explained that at the bilateral alignment meeting established during the 2019 Presidential retreat/ministerial induction, it was critical to take stock of progress, and align on the updated performance monitoring tools and frameworks that have been put in place to support ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) towards achieving the respective priority projects and deliverables.
“Here at the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, we have made significant progress towards achieving our 40 deliverables. Each deliverable has been assigned to an accounting officer responsible for overseeing the implementation teams that are executing on the deliverables,” Mrs. Ahmed said.
She further said, “We have developed key performance indicators, baselines, and targets to measure progress, and ensure full and timely implementation. Furthermore, an ICT platform has been designed and is being operationalised to ensure efficient performance management and tracking; and enable real time progress analysis.
“It is important to situate our performance discussions within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in an unprecedented global health and economic crisis, and the effects have been swift and far-reaching. “Like other primarily oil-dependent economies, Nigeria has been hit hard by the dual reality of the drop in crude oil prices and the pandemic. Due to the global economic slowdown caused by global lockdowns, demand for crude oil has significantly declined, and Nigeria’s source of foreign exchange revenues have been severely impacted.
“While we successfully exited recession in Q4 2020, in large part due to the swift measures put in place post-COVID 19, there, in her opinion, is still much progress to be made.
“Recognising the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, and the inevitable effect on progress towards achieving the Nine Presidential Priorities, she said: We have implemented several measures. Last month, Mrs. Ahmed inaugurated a Steering Committee to ensure that the progress towards achieving the ministry’s 40 deliverables is overseen by a governance structure and management framework.
The work of the committee, in her words: “Is being supported by a team of external consultants. The committee will utilise project management principles as well as technology to ensure efficient tracking and progress; and will meet with agencies and departments on an ongoing basis to review performance; identify challenges and lessons learned; resolve challenges in a coordinated and timely manner; and align on next steps and capture recommendations for enhancing future performance.
“Earlier this week, we organised a workshop to sensitise the ministry’s agencies and departments on the newly developed ‘Data Template’. The results of this workshop, as well as our progress towards populating the data template, and our recommendations for improvement, will be presented by the director, national monitoring and evaluation department, as part of today’s feedback/update on the data template”.