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BudgIT meets NABRO, discusses budget reforms, oil dependency, ors

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On April 6, 2022, BudgIT met with the National Budget and Research Office (NABRO) as part of its post-2022 Budget Consultation Memo visits.

At the engagement, the parties discussed the agency’s mandate and the core issues that BudgIT identified in the 2022 Approved Budget.

On the subject of low budget credibility, Malam Saidu highlighted an opaque procurement process at numerous levels as a factor.

Responding to the issue of dwindling revenue and increased borrowings Malam Mohammed affirmed that while the observations were accurate, attention should be on the sources of revenues, not only expenditure.

Regarding the numerous duplications prominent in the annual budgets, the Agency head acknowledged that the Federal Government needs ardent commitments from actors involved in the budget process and a reduced personal discretion.

At the end of the meeting, both organisations unanimously agreed that cooperation is imperative to enhance the quality of engagements between Civil Society Organisations and the government.

Open Contracting: Are States Making Progress or not?

BudgIT imagined a society where all government activities are transparent, and citizens can demand accountability from their leaders.

Open contracting and transparency in public procurement have proven cost-effective and broadened competition amongst potential contractors.

This, it said, will reinforce the government’s commitment to combating corruption, understanding and improving their financial positions, creating fairer and more accessible markets, and collaborating with civil society organisations to monitor public services more effectively.

The organisation noted that one of its core objectives is to ensure citizens’ involvement in governance.

It expressed the belief that pointing fingers is not enough, but that citizens’ knowledge of real-time government expenditure, revenue processes, and the government’s involvement is key to achieving open contracting at the subnational.

Last week, BudgIT sat with three of its bright minds, Ag. Head of Media and Communications, Iyanu Fatoba; Extractives Lead, Engr Adejoke Akinbode, and Senior Research and Policy Analyst, Vahyala Kwaga, to discuss Public Procurement and Open Contracting at the Subnational Level, the importance of Public Procurement laws and States’ efforts in democratising public procurement for citizens.

Listen to the discussion here.

Nigeria’s Oil Dependency: What is the way forward?

Last month, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and BudgIT held a dialogue session with CSOs and stakeholders in the government to discuss findings from NRGI’s analysis on Nigeria’s dependency on oil and strategies for ensuring a sustainable economy beyond oil.

While giving her opening remark, Nafi Chinery, NRGI’s African Regional Manager, iterated the need to create strategies to address longstanding issues of fossil fuel dependency in the country and deliberate options and opportunities ahead.

Findings from the research presented by Tengi George-Ikoli, NRGI’s Senior Officer, focused on the impact of Geo-politics, the current state of the oil sector, critical strategies for ending oil dependence and preparing for a future beyond oil.

The analysis further revealed that economic diversification would potentially displace crude oil foreign exchange incomes, as such, there is a need for State governments, especially oil-producing states, to prioritise fiscal resilience.

Read the full report here.

BudgIT and NIPC to co-create strategies for harnessing states’ investment opportunities

It is no longer news that the devastating effects and economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively affected States’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and their share of federally collected revenue.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, a few states saw some improvements in their IGR; however, these improvements were insufficient to emancipate the majority from their dependence on FAAC allocation.

This also paints a bleak outlook as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in dwindling revenues for the federal government due to falling oil prices, OPEC production cuts and other COVID-19 induced headwinds, thereby reducing the allocations that go to states.

BudgIT constantly partnered with stakeholders and government institutions to co-create strategies and action plans to improve fiscal sustainability, open government, and improve citizens’ welfare at the subnational level.

These strategies include a deeper analysis of states’ resources and identifying potential opportunities.

Last month, BudgIT signed one of such partnerships with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to co-create and develop custom strategies that support willing states in Nigeria to harness their investment potentials, improve internally generated revenue and boost states’ economic prosperity.

Both parties signed this Memorandum of Understanding at the NIPC office in Abuja, in the presence of Mr Emeka Offor, the A-g. Executive Secretary, NIPC, Mr Gabriel Okeowo, Country Director, BudgIT, Mrs Patience Okala, Director, Legal Services and Mr Iniobon Usen, A-g. head of Research and Policy Advisory, BudgIT.

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