BUDGET & FINANCE: Osun Retools For Service Delivery

Globally, organizations, in both private and public sectors of the economy, draw budget to attain specific goals and objectives. However, while budgeting in the private sector is market driven and profit oriented, the contrary is the case in the public sector.

The public sector is not only resource constrained (as it is funded mostly by taxation) but is also service oriented. Hence government at various levels often ensure that budget is well prepared in advance in order to render service to the people especially under a democratic dispensation in which citizens expect so much from their leaders who they elected into office.

In the State of Osun, a forward looking and progressive brand, the art of budget making has been taken to greater heights. Under the leadership of  Rauf Aregbesola, the regime has not only touched the lives of the people with the execution and implementation of its 6 points agenda, it has also turned the economy of the state around.

Without foisting a higher tax regime on the people, the states Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has increased by 100 percent. According to Dr Wale Bolorunduro, Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget, “The approach we adopted was to plug loopholes and stopped the losses incurred through manual collection and manual processing. The approach paid off with 100% jump in revenue earnings.”

Yet in spite of this laudable feat, the State is not resting on its oars. Perhaps in affirmation of Aregbesola’s vision as enunciated in this words: “The development of human capacity is the most important responsibility of any serious government; we are treading this course progressively” the State recently held a week long workshop on Budget Preparation for senior civil servants in the state. The workshop which held between October 28 and November 4, 2013 was co-ordinated by Landmark Exposures Limited, the management excellence advocacy firm.

The maiden workshop was a joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget.

In her opening remarks, the Commissioner of Human Resources and Capacity Buildings, Mobolaji Akande admonished the participants thus: “Your role is important as officials in charge of budget preparation. Budgeting strategy should be geared towards the achievement of the 6 points agenda of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Therefore this workshop is expected to expose participants to the global best practices in budget preparation, initiation an implementation. Moreover, this workshop is timely because it is coming up during the budget preparation season. All what you learnt here would help you in the preparation of the 2014 budget.”

Participants at the workshop were top and middle level executive staff with diverse background in charge of budget preparation in various ministries, parastatals, agencies and departments.

Presenting the opening paper, the faculty leader and chief executive officer of Landmatk Exposures Limited, Mr Akinwole Osewa, described the participants as the engine room of government. “As civil servants, you are the souls and heartbeats of any government”, Osewa said. According to the seasoned management consultant the success and failure of any government or regime could be gleaned from the impact of government’s budget on the lives of the governed stressing that “civil servants who are involved in the making of budget should ensure that budget prepared by them are strictly implemented by those involved in its execution.”

A global financial management trainer, forensic accountant and author, Dr Richard Mayungbe took  the participants through the whole gamut of budget making and preparation at the workshop. Mayungbe said since budgeting starts and ends with human beings it is imperative that those involved in its preparation should not only be well trained but also motivated.

Mayungbe stressed that a well prepared, well implemented and executed budget must touch the lives of all the stakeholders.”

With both local and foreign instructive and thoughtful case studies, he took participants through issues and pivots in the budgeting process. Topics like, budget cycle and control, contents and structure of public sector budget, budgeting and responsibility accounting, driving IGR with ICT and other germane issues.

In his presentation titled “Emotional intelligence for effective budgeting and budget implementation” a renonwed motivational and entrepreneurship speaker, Dr. Lemmy Omoyinmi, focused on how emotions of executives in charge of budget preparation and implementation affects the lives of stakeholders the budget is meant for.

Adopting philosophical, psychological, medical and sociological models to dissect the problem of poor service delivery in the public sector, Omoyinmi said the only way to remedy the situation was to stop living historically but futuristically as futuristic thinking evokes positive energy needed for development and growth.