UNICEF To Assist States In Finance Management

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L-R: Managing Director, NASD OTC Securities Exchange, Mr Bola Ajomale, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Babatunde Ruwase, Chairman, Membership and Welfare Committee, LCCI, Mr Suboma Ajumogobia and Manager, Marketing Communication, Dizzengoff Nigeria, Humphrey Otalor, during the induction ceremony for new members of LCCI in Lagos, last Thursday.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it plans to strengthen the capacities of states in Nigeria in public finance management to ensure adequate funding for children programmes.
This is contained in a communiqué at the end of a 5-day UNICEF Workshop on Public Finance for Children in Abuja on Sunday.
Participants at the workshop recommended the mainstreaming of UNICEF programmes into states’ development plans for better results.
They decried Nigeria’s heavy reliance on oil revenue at the detriment of other sectors.
“Going by presentation from the Budget Office of the Federation on the structure of the Nigerian economy: Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio is less than 6 per cent; while the sub-Saharan Africa average is 16 per cent,’’ the participants said.
They also decried the absence of an organic budget law in the country and called on both the executive and the legislature to work towards
enacting such law.
“Also going by the presentation it is clear that Nigeria does not have an organic budget law; that is a financial constitution guiding budgeting process in the country,’’ the participants said.
They also stressed the need for UNICEF to engage the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) as well as states’ Executive Councils to advocate for better funding for children’s programmes.
“There is the need to engage the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) and Executive Councils at states level in regards to advocacy on budget processes.
“Looking at the presentations from six states-Borno, Cross River, Delta, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kebbi- it showed capacity gaps in budgeting
processes including related planning and programming framework.
“There is also need to support governments at the federal and state levels in budget processes. There is still room to influence 2019 budget,’’ the participants added.
They also stressed the need for monitoring and reporting mechanism on states’ counterpart funding to ensure strict compliance.