The Federal Government has continued to receive encomiums over the just concluded Bilateral session with health sector’s agencies on 2023 budget preparation.
The Session which was organised by the Finance and Accounts department of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja had in attendance Chief Medical Directors, Accountants of Federal Teaching Hospitals, Medical Centres and heads of Parastatals and Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health from different parts of the country.
Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who was represented by the Head, Constituency Project Tracking Unit, Mr. Hafiz Hassan, urged the participants to leave no room for corruption and manipulation in their budgets.
Mr. Hafiz who trained the participants on 2023 Budget Preparation and Implementation on Constituency Projects noted that over invoicing of contract sum, bribery, Illegal signing off projects as completed (false certification of projects) were some of the issues hampering project delivery in the country.
Others he said, included, “under performance of contract, abuse of office and conflict of interest, misappropriation and criminal conversion of public projects, absence of NEEDS analysis in the completion of projects.
“Absence of synergy between critical stakeholders in the conception of projects, budget padding, non -adherence to specification, outright theft and embezzlement, shoddy completion, non- completion or outright non execution of projects”.
He advised them to desist from these vices and execute projects with all sincerity so the nation would experience astronomical progress.
Also, representatives of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) trained the participants on preparation of Over Head Budget using the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) Platform.
In response, the Registrar, Medical Rehabilitation Therapists Registration Board of Nigeria, Dr. Mrs Akanle Olufunke while commending the initiative said, “the Bilateral Session is to help remind and inform those that might not know, and also be updated with different changes that might have been made, either by budget office concerning budget planning or preparation for the year, to clarify and also answer some of the questions and the challenges each agency might be facing Which might be perculiar to them.
“It has been really helpful to reduce the errors that might be made by agencies in the course of budget preparation and to also let the government know through the budget Office and those to let them know the perculiar challenges in the various agencies.
“Its very informative and I recommend that it continues. They are some documents that you just collect and read it but you may not have understanding of it but in a forum like this, where they are reading it, when you read it, they’ll explain it, you’ll ask questions, so it makes the work easier for us as agencies”.
Stressing the need for the Establishment of rehabilitation centers in the country, she said: “We need rehabilitation centers in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, very very important”.
Similarly, Deputy Head of Finance and Accounts Department, Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology, Jos, Mr. Udo Nkereuwem lauded the ministry for organising the training saying it would improve the outcome of revenue generation in his organisation.
“I learned new strategies on improving the revenue of my institution. One of it is to increase the revenue base.
“I am optimistic that there will be an improved outcome in revenue generation as a result of the training. Further more, I’ll propose for a rejig of the Revenue unit for efficiency.
“I overwhelming give kudos to the Federal Ministry of Health for a strong direction in the coordination and overall organization of the event. I can imagine the ingenuity of the committee so saddled with the responsibility and so, I applaud all for the job well done”, he said.
Also, Planning Officer, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Kaduna, Barr. Mohammed Suleiman said: “I’ve acquired knowledge that includes how to prepare a budget. I’ve also learnt some term perculiarities that differ in 2021 Financial Act enacted by the National Assembly which can cater for the 2022 fiscal year projects.
“Also, the GIFFMIS Office Clarified issues and how to assist the MDAs under the ministry of health. ICPC also shed light on the issue of corruption, these I’ll put to use when I return to my base”, he said.