Australian High Commission Direct Aid Program

STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITIES OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS FOR EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY IN BUDGET ANALYSIS, ALLOCATION, TRACKING, MONITORING AND REPORTING

Background

Budget is one of the most important areas of policy making. Through budgets, government indicate how much it is willing to spend on public purposes, set substantive policy priorities within the overall spending levels, determine the amount that must be borrowed in order to finance approved spending levels and its influence and economy. The ability to make timely and sensible fiscal choices is therefore regarded as one of the hallmarks of sound governance. Budgeting process is the continuum of budget preparation, approval, execution, reporting, audit and review. This process revolves round the executive and legislative structures in a democratic system. There is however a disconnect at the point of execution as reporting, audit and review is often times not conducted or shrouded in myth and mysteries.

In a federal system, federal, state, and local levels of government perform these functions in varying degrees. The Federal government is more heavily engaged in economic stabilization and redistribution functions than are state and local governments, and controls larger budgetary allocations. One of the main functions of government is to collect various forms of revenue and to utilize these revenues to provide social services to the people in an efficient manner as possible. In order to achieve this, the government annual budget, which has become one single most important and pervasive instrument for resource allocation, management and control comes in. Federal and State budgets, from a general point of view are tools of economic planning, making reasonable estimates and projections based on prevailing socio-economic indicators. Broadly, the purposes and associated features of the public sector budget may be considered in terms of three aspects: As a tool of accountability, as a tool of management, and as a tool of economic policy. Budgeting as an instrument of economic policy has more varied functions.

In policy terms, it indicated the direction of the economy and expresses intentions regarding the utilization of the nation’s resources. In operational terms, it leads to the determination of growth and investment goals. Secondly, the budget is concerned with macro-economic balance in the economy. The policy choices in this regard include specification of the amount of growth that is compatible with factors such as employment and price stability. However, it has to be recognized that in the final analysis, budget at federal Government level or other Governmental levels is very much a political exercise than economic considerations. Traditional “line item” budgeting system in use in Nigeria was born of a concern that the lack of adequate spending controls was contributing to an environment where there was increasing danger of corruption.

Partners/Funders

Australian High Commission Direct Aid Program

Goal

To promote transparency, accountability and effective citizens’ participation in the budgetary process in Nigeria

Objective of the Project

To engage state and non-state actors to evaluate, validate and publish a descriptive analysis of State budgetary allocations in Kaduna, Rivers and Lagos States.

Outputs

  • A multi stakeholders Dialogue sessions in Kaduna, Rivers and Ogun States to harvest key concepts of budget planning, performance, participation and documentations by October, 2015
  • Policy Brief on Budget Tracking Compendium developed, published and disseminated by December, 2015

Activities

  • Capacity building sessions for Civil Society Organizations on External Accountability in Nigeria.
  • A Policy Dialogue session for 35 persons in Kaduna, Rivers and Lagos States.
  • To publish and disseminate Policy Brief on Budget Tracking Compendium.