From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Budget Office of the Federation yesterday commenced training for 4,250 workers of over 800 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on how to prepare budgets electronically using the online Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIMFIS).
GIMFIS, an Information Technology-based platform, was designed to improve public expenditure management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency in MDAs.
Director General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, said at the start of the training in Abuja that the programme would be conducted over a period of two weeks in six cities and Abuja.
“We shall be training 1,830 participants in Abuja. Others will be trained in their regions.
“The current administration adopted the Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) methodology to help ensure optimal utilisation of government’s resources on projects, enhance the level of accountability and facilitate monitoring and evaluation of capital projects,” he said.
He added that for the 2017 budget, MDAs, for the first time, prepared and submitted their budgets online with manual intervention, which he said helped eradicate a lot of challenges
“For the 2018 budget, we intend to improve the experiences in 2017. Based on our feedback last year, we have simplified our ZBB structure, programmes and sub-programmes have been merged into programmes, while activities and sub-activities have been merged into activities and mapped to the GIMFIS structure to enable us use the budget preparation system on the GIMFIS platform.
“We have assembled a team of external and internal experts to help with the training on using GIMFIS budget preparation module.
“In the last five years, MDAs have been using GIMFIS for budget execution but this will be the first time that MDAs will be using it to carry out both budget preparation and execution,” he explained.
He hoped the training would enhance smooth and seamless linkage between budget preparation, submission, execution, monitoring, evaluation and reporting compared to when the budget was prepared outside GIMFIS and then imported into it for execution.
Akabueze said the target was to complete all works on the 2018 budget and transmit same to the National Assembly latest October this year for passage by December.
He maintained that government was working to ensure the country returned to the predictable January-December financial year as prescribed in the constitution.