I remember that when the present government came in to office, they opted for zero base budgeting which requires the budget to be prepared from a zero point. This implies that all financial inputs to be included in the budget must be evaluated and justified in terms of costs and benefits.
The procedure in selecting inputs for the budget should be such that, identifies the projects, evaluate them/analyse cost benefit implication of each project, then adopt the best method from alternative options of undertaking the project and finally rank projects based on priority and available resources.
Unfortunately the results so far is a far cry to the standard requirement.
Zero base budgeting is efficient as each project is selected based on its merit and not on its inclusion in the previous budget, it focuses attention on results and guarantees optimum allocation of resources but the snag is that the long-term benefits may be sacrificed for short term pecuniary interest within the budget period.
This is why Nigerians must change their tactics by concentrating more on budget implementation than the budget allocations.
It is always disturbing to note that each time budget is passed Nigerians make so much noise and analysis but regrettably they are obtuse when it comes to the area that matters, the implementation.
With zero base budgeting, money for an entire project can be pocketed by a group of people within a budget period of one year and that is it, after all, the next year budget will start all over from zero!
It is for that reason that I opined that by virtue of the oversight function constitutionally given by Nigerians to the legislators (Federal and States), Nigerians should demand from NASS and their State legislators an update or evaluation of the performance of 2016 budget. It important that we know what we achieved with the huge debts recorded in 2016.
The nonchalance over budget implementation has immensely contributed to our infrastructural deficiency and it must stop. Recently it was reported that NDDC and the Federal government have alarming rate of abandoned projects for which so much money had been committed without commensurate execution.
This is no doubt caused by the of lack of monitoring of our project commitments and to that extent, our legislators and indeed executives pan Nigeria have failed us.
Going forward and by the seriousness of the matter, legislators must establish Projects Monitoring Committee that will be charged with monitoring projects and keeping themselves abreast with disbursements, contractor’s challenges, and ensuring satisfactory completion of the job at record time. So I plea!
Remember! Restructuring is the answer to the monumental. project inefficiency ! Let us restructure now!!
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