• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo


USAID- S2S, Ebonyi engages LGAs on budget manual

USAID- S2S, Ebonyi engages LGAs on budget manual

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), S2S Nigeria and Ebonyi State government has engaged local government areas on the use of budget manuals for effective financial management.

The development of a budget manual for selected local government areas in the state is to ensure an improvement in the budgeting system and processes in four council areas in the state.

The three-day training tagged validating and training on the budget manual for local government areas took place in Nike Lake Resort, Enugu State southeast Nigeria.

S2S is a USAID-funded project implemented by DAI Global, LLC in six states of Nigeria, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Akwa Ibon, Sokoto, and Ebonyi to increase Accountability, Transparency, and Effectiveness in targeted local governments in Nigeria.

In Ebonyi, S2S is working with the state ministry of local government chieftaincy and rural development to improve the budgeting system and processes in four council areas in the state which are Ikwo, Ohaozara, Ebonyi and Abakaliki.

As a result, S2S supported the council areas in producing a budget manual that aligns the National Charter of Accounts (NCOA) with a comprehensive budget preparation calendar in November 2022.

Dr. Sam Onyia S2S Ebonyi State Team Lead explained that the essence of the workshop was to enable the local government budget officers to do proper budget projection by themselves and urged the participants to put in their best for transparency and accountability at the local level.

According to him, the budget manual is expected to be used by all the local government areas as it is a reform tool for clarity and ease of use.

It will be used in the planning, preparation and implementation of the annual budget.

Mfon Williamson, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Budget Planning, research and Monitoring Ebonyi State in her part opined that council areas should prepare individual budgets as it will enhance accessibility, and transparency and build more capacity for the budget officers.

“The budget manual is already in use in the state and I desire that the local government areas adopt and use it, follow the budget process”.

Victoria Eze S2S Local Government Manager in her submission explained that the training aimed to build the capacity of the local government area finance officers for effective budget management including budget tracking and reporting on budget execution.

She added that it will strengthen the capacity of participants in the GESI conflict sensitivity application of the manual.

“The budget manual will help the targeted local governments to understand the procedures of budget manual preparation, mainstream Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) and Conflict sensitivity in the training on budgeting manual.

Chibueze Nwonye S2S Public Finance Manager in a presentation on understanding the budget manual, explained that the budget manual contains information on the standard budgeting processes.

“Budget management involves planning organising, coordinating, monitoring, and reporting activities within the budget cycle.

A budget manual documents these activities, roles, responsibilities, and timeliness for effective management of the local government budget process.

“Active participation in the budget process is essential from various stakeholders, including local government officials, community leaders, and civil society groups. Good practice involves an integrated top-down and bottom-top approach, with each stage of the process performed in a specific manner and timeline to ensure approval before the financial year starts”. He said.