In its quest to build a formidable workforce, increase productivity and ultimately achieve an efficient health sector, the Finance and Accounts Department of the Federal Ministry of Health has organised a one day workshop for its staff from across the country.
The workshop with the theme: “Capacity Building Programme on Project Inspection, Revenue Generation and Budget Preparation”, took place recently in Abuja the nation’s capital.
An Expert at the workshop stated that, Governments all over the world exist to provide or facilitate the provision of service to their citizenry.
He added that, “to achieve the stated objective of service delivery and the dividends of good governance, authorities in turn require huge human and material recourses.
”This is why from time immemorial, sustainable revenue generation has been a key part of public service administration”.
He however noted challenges of Revenue Generation in Nigeria to include inaccurate revenue data base, corrupt practices, low tax compliance rate, among others.
Some solution he proferrred to tackle this include: “Giving priority to the exploitation of the country’s vast untapped mineral resources, reforming the TSA to make revenue payment less cumbersome.
“Achieving end to end automation in the revenue generation and accounting chain link to minimize physical contact in the transaction process.
In addition, “the challenges of revenue generation in Nigeria are quite enormous. This is particularly so in view of the country’s huge and growing population.
“The public service as midwives of Government Development Agenda has to be more proactive in evolving strategies for Improved revenue generation Monitoring and Control going forward”, he said.
Consequently, the Expert noted some reasons for project failure in the public sector to include poor project planning, change of policies and priorities, resource constraints- including non-release of approved budget allocations because of cash flow problem.
He defined project monitoring and evaluation as a process that help improve performance and achieve results of the project, whose goal was to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impacts.
Furthermore, he noted that monitoring and evaluation of development interventions in governance were crucial aspects of budgets, projects, policy planning and management.
Also, “without Monitoring and Evaluation, it would be impossible to judge if implementation of budgets, programmes and projects were going in the right direction”, he said.
Also, a second Expert stated that Budget was the annual statement through which the government deliver its fiscal policy agenda to the populace.
He however listed factors affecting Budget preparation and Implementation in Nigeria to include lack of accurate data, late issuance of call circular, political influence in the area of project selection, lack of trained personnel, Lateness in the release of general warrant, late/irregular release of funds, lack of proper Monitoring mechanisms among others.
Therefore, “the budgetary process in Nigeria is being Improved in terms of transparency. However, steps need to be taken to address the various challenges identified so as to further improve the process and free up more funds to fund critical sectors”, he said.
One of the participants, the 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”.