Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that the 2020 Appropriation Bill will be presented to the National Assembly by the end of this month.
Delivering her opening remarks at a high-level roundtable on National Donor Coordination in Abuja on Wednesday, Ahmed said “the 2020 budget preparation process is well underway, and we intend to finalise and submit the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly by the end of this month.”
As a first step towards ensuring that donor programmes were aligned with “our strategic priorities, and are in turn reflected in our upcoming national budget, we will hold meetings in the next few days to better understand your ongoing and planned programmes.
“Following this consultative meeting, a set of guidelines will be provided to support submission of your cost short to medium term plans, broken down annually.
“This process will ensure that we consider on-going and planned aid interventions when making our 2020 budgetary allocations, and that said interventions are reflected in the Appropriation Bill.”
According to a statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Yunusa Tanko Abdulahi, Ahmed highlighted the administration’s 11 Economic Priority Areas. On economic and governance reforms, she focused on macroeconomic stability through coordinated economic, monetary, fiscal and trade policies; fight corruption and improve governance.
She called for donor’s collaboration in establishing a National Donor Coordination Mechanism that is aligned to the government’s key strategic priority areas as set out in our national plans, policies and annual budgets.
“We will be engaging towards setting up a Donor Coordination Unit (DCU) to be chaired by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and co-chaired by the Honorable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, and the Chair(s) of the Donors Coordination Committee. We will task the DCU to develop a road map toward setting up a Multi-Donor Trust Fund, to be managed by the World Bank, which will pool donor funds to enhance transparency and accountability.”
“Aid is most effective when it is well-coordinated, with mutual accountability mechanisms for government and donors.
“Above all else, it must be aligned with the government’s strategic development priorities. While we have made some progress in coordinating aid in specific areas, such as in the North East intervention, and the Social Investment Programmes, we still have a long way to go in ensuring a government-led mutual accountability framework for aid coordination in Nigeria,” she stated.
Also speaking, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba said coordination of activities of development partners “will now be compulsory in order to achieve Aid effectiveness and efficiency.
“It is imperative that we establish an agreeable process for the coordination and effective management of development assistance in the country. Our mission is to be at par with international best practices and to achieve a mutual understanding and cooperation with a flexible framework of guidelines.”
He added that donors need the guidance and direction from government to ensure that resources are beneficial to the populace, and stressed the need to monitor the performance of all international commitments in order to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure even distribution of resources across the country.