• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Public financial management in focus as ACCA recognizes Lagos govt

Public financial management in focus as ACCA recognizes Lagos govt

Public financial management took centre stage as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) gathered finance experts and key Lagos State public servants for recognition.

The event which was essentially for the recognition of Lagos State government for its exceptional approach to public financial management, explained why governments must invest in their PFM systems now so that they are flexible and resilient enough to deal with crises in the future.

As the way governments manage public resources, including collecting revenue and controlling expenditure and the impact of such resources on the economy and society, PFM says much about governments and what their values are.

According to the financial experts, how good a government is at PFM made a real difference to citizens and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Quite literally, PFM could be the difference between living and dying, survival and bankruptcy,” they said.

Rabiu Olowo, the Lagos State commissioner for finance, noted that the way to rethink public finance is to make it deliberate, sustainable and continuous, adding that the significance of PFM is huge and cuts across education, health, agriculture, etc.

Olowo said that governments should build a framework for recalling public finance from the rural areas, advising that the focus of public financial management should focus more on outcomes such as determining budget performance.

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We have to do all that we say that we will do; our framework should be redesigned to focus on outcome; this will spur social development,” the finance commissioner said, adding that PFM was as good as the people who manage them.

Ajibola Ponnle, the state’s Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, highlighted the need to develop capacity in the PFM system, noting that there was a huge gap in the state which is why the state was training and retraining its workforce.

She disclosed that a framework has been developed to identify the required technical skill level for staff and also to develop leadership and communication competences. She advised that efforts should be made to identify the kind of skill and competences that every staff needs to fit into the PFM system.

Ponnle said that the thinking about PFM is different in Lagos State, explaining that in the state, unlike others, “we cannot think of economic development without the citizen’s well being. There should be a link between public finance and citizen’s well-being.”

Oke Umeano, chief economist at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreed with the link between public finance and citizens’ well-being, advising that Lagos State should use the revenue generated from the Badagry axis to build a rail system that would make life comfortable for people living in that axis.

Meanwhile, for their outstanding performance in public financial management which is evident in some of their people-centred projects, Lagos State government and its workers were recognized and given awards by ACCA.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, led the pack of award recipients. Others were the commissioner for finance, his establishment counterpart and the State’s Accountant General. Tayo Adedeji was also recognized as ACCA Advocate.