The above activities of the Ministry have been given additional steam under the New Direction Agenda of the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as listed below: –
i. The Economic Team has interacted with over 185 investors both locally and internationally covering different sectors of the economy.
ii. Over 40 MoUs have been generated and are at various stages of execution.
iii. About 20 executed MoUs are already yielding positive results in the State. These includes: –
iv. The solid Mineral Sector is witnessing a new impetus as a 3-Man Technical Committee set up by Super-pac has recently embarked on a trip to the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Abuja and the Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF) to commence the process of securing mining rights for Kogi State. In view of the massive deposits of solid minerals in the State, this latest effort of this administration will engender a massive turn-around in the economic fortunes of the State.
3. Establishment of Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability(T.E.A) Unit:
This administration under the above leadership established a Unit called the Transparency Efficiency and Accountability Unit (TEA). Some of the benefits this unit has achieved include:-
a. Value addition in accounting
b. Better coordination between MDAs roles and goals
c. Online Budgetary provision
d. Curtailing Government wasteful spending, and
e. Ensuring value for money in government expenditures
4. Implementation of Special Super Political Action Committee (Super PAC) on IGR Funding:
This Committee was set up to increase the State financial resources to match the aspirations and its targeted projections to reduce the level of financial incapacitation of the State. The Committee is out with resolutions to boost the State’s economy in the following ways:
a. Water Ways Transportation
b. Building and construction of jetties
c. Tourism Boats
d. Regatta shows
e. Granite Quarry sites for fund generation
f. Mining activities
g. Mineral reserves
5. Publication of Financial Statements:
The Ministry of Finance equally ensures the preparation and publication of the State Financial Statements as accountability and transparency is the watchword of the new direction agenda of this administration
6. Adoption of FGN Fiscal Sustainability Plan:
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development facilitated the quick adoption of (FSP) Fiscal Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government in Kogi State for which the State Government has engaged the services of Sapphirengr Nig. Consulting Ltd as Coordinating Consultants. The broad objectives of the FSP focuses on the following among others:-
a. Improvement in accountability and Transparency
b. Increase in Internally Generated Revenue
c. Rationalization of Public expenditure
The following are some of the activities targeted at achieving the above listed objectives:-
i. A sensitization workshop was flagged off as one of the 22 point agenda of the FSP implementation Agenda. The Flag-off was attended by over 250 key officers from across the length and breadth of the State Civil Service. This served as avenue to train the MDAs on the existence and the State’s position as regards the FSP adoption by Kogi State.
ii. Kogi State is now on record to have produced its End of year Financial Statements (unaudited) at the fastest time- even though later than the statutory time allowed and in the face of several challenges.
iii. Sapphirengr Consulting engagement has also influenced the production and on-line publication of the State Annual Budget and the Budget Performance reports thereof
iv. Sapphirengr Consulting engagement has also elicited an overeaching discourse on Internally Generated Revenue and engendered best practice approaches to improving same. Have encouraged regular reconciliation meetings with the FIRS on PAYE, VAT and WHT which has hitherto not been accorded the appropriate monitoring and evaluation. (An outline of further steps to engage and improve is currently in view with the KGBIRS)
v. Sapphirengr Consulting has also during its engagement discovered gaps in the Computation of VAT and WHT which has resulted in over remittances to the FIRS for many years and yet to be abated.
vi. The firm has also been instrumental to the establishment of the Efficiency Unit which has permeated into all MDAs the State. Hitherto, requests for approval to incur expenditure have always been directed to the Governor without much vetting and review for Transparency Efficiency and Accountability. The institution and operations of this unit has in its short space and time of operations discovered several lapses inimical to efforts at rationalizing public expenditure. This unit if properly supported is bound to achieve better for the state.
vii. The firm held a capacity-building workshop for the Internal Auditors in the course of the year to enshrine the culture of Continuous Audit. This workshop-clearly-over-subscribed left an imprint on the minds of the participants who were hitherto, unsure of their positions neither on their statutory duties.
viii. The firm has also supported the state in the quest to improve Public Financial Management- working with the Staff of the office of the Accountant-General to map out strategies for and to enhancing the use and application of the Capital Development Fund. Working closely with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and the Bureau of Public Private Partnership (BP3) to provide contributions to the discourse of the PPP guidelines.
ix. The firm has supported the Ministry of Finance in compliance with the Domesticated Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). It has also worked closely with the debt management office (DMO) and has designed an excel Dashboard template to allow ease of computation and report analysis for management decision making.
x. Overall, Sapphirengr Consulting Ltd has been the Center-Point of the
State for the coordination the State’s responses to the Monitoring and Evaluation of the FSP implementation been carried out by Auditors appointed by the Federal Ministry of Finance which is still on-going, including the responses to the FSP questionnaire from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
7. The State Debt Management Department: This Department has been challenged by the present administration and leadership of the Ministry to live up to expectation and keep safe tracking of the debt profile of the State which enhance transparency and accountability drive of the New Direction agenda.
8. The Ministry of Finance has equally engaged a number of consultants in the areas of Ground rents, fund recoveries, auditing, budgeting and a host of others with positive impacts being recorded on daily basis.
9. The Ministry recently organized a sensitization workshop for stakeholders on IGR Framework as developed by Super PAC and Framework on Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability as developed by the Consultant to the State Government on Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP).
PLANNING FOR A BETTER KOGI
The Ministry articulates the State projects and programmes. This may be on the long, medium or short term. It also prepares the State annual budget in collaboration with other ministries, departments, and agencies. The budget is usually for a period of one year.
It equally interfaces with the Ministry for Budget and National Planning (MBNP) on matters that concern State development plan and also coordinates development partners’ activities in the State. This is in short referred to as Aids coordination.
The Department of Planning (Macro) has the mandated to interface with the relevant MDAs and other stakeholders to fashion out strategies for the actualization of the decisions reached at the meeting of the National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) and Joint Planning Board (JPB) in the areas of:
(i) The State of the economy.
(ii) Improvement of the development planning.
(iii) The actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
In the light of the above, the assignment has been completed and we are in process of sending our response to NCDP office. The ministry also interfaced with the team from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation who were on a fact-finding mission to the State in respect of creating, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Cadre in Federal Civil Service, with the aim of upgrading M&E into a full fledge Department. The objective of the visit is to sample opinions from states whether M&E cadre should be created or not. The ministry is presently working hand in hand with the ministry of justice to put in place M&E law for the state, after which the M&E Unit presently domiciled in planning department will metamorphose into a full fledge department in line with best practice. The ministry represented the state at a food and Nutrition meeting in Kaduna organized by Synergos in conjunction with World Bank.
Kogi State over the years has suffered untold story of hardship, underdevelopment, unemployment amongst other social vices compared to others States like Abia, Gombe, Osun, Delta e.t.c, that were all created in the same year with Kogi State. These social vices are largely spill-over effect of;
The state development policy deficiency and inconsistencies
It is in the light of the above that Kogi State Government has embraced series of Policy and Planning Reforms. One of the recent reforms is the Medium Terms Expenditure Plan (MTEP).
MTEP is a planning tool that assists government and even non-governmental organizations in articulating their expenditure plan and management of their limited resources. This expenditure plan was tested and put to use by the State Government for some years. However, it does not adequately forecast into the future pattern of behavior of concerned macroeconomic variables and as well projects of three years aggregate resource envelops (budget sizes) of the state.
MTEP has also not been able to effectively link the State Economic and Fiscal Update, Fiscal Strategies and Budget Policy Statement which is the single most important cause of poor budgeting outcome in the State. These lapses found in the use of MTEP raised the enthusiasm of the government for an advanced budgeting and expenditure framework known as Multi-year Budget Framework (MYBF).
MYBF is a budget framework that attempts to reconcile expenditure demands from sectors with aggregate resource constraint. MYBF in many respects has become the new panacea for public expenditure management and is equally proposed as a cure not only for inadequacies of planning and budgeting system but also for broader implementation problem of government.
Kogi State Government warmly appreciates various workshops and training of staff of pilot ministries on the MTEF/MYBF sponsored by Kogi State Government via Kogi State Public Sector Governance Reform and Development program (World Bank Credit Loan Facility).
Amongst many benefits of MYBF includes: discipline to start budget process earlier; scientific forecasting of macroeconomic trend and projections of the fiscal estimate; provides a reference point for civil society when reviewing the final approved budget; helps enforced a multi-year perspective to the budget; clearly lays out the assumptions and the calculation used to derives the aggregate budget breakdown, and provide sectors with an early indication (prior to the Budget Call Circular) of the three years envelope – to update Medium Term Sector Strategies MTSS’s legislation.
In conclusion, MYBF, has already been embraced in the State has been used to assess prior fiscal and economic performance of the State –this is a backward-looking piece of analysis providing context for the future looking fiscal and budget frameworks of the state. MYBF had been a blessing to the state as it was easy to scientifically work-out three-year aggregate resource envelops (Fiscal Framework) base on a macroeconomic framework and fiscal objectives, assumptions, and risk. Lastly, based on the determined aggregate envelops and on policy priorities, the Budget policy statement of the state draws together keys findings and policy recommendations from Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU) and Fiscal Strategies into a cohesive statement on budget policy which produced three-year sector envelop (either for all expenditure, capital only or capital and recurrent separately) that are the basis for MTSS update and annual budget ceiling.
The Ministry has experienced tremendous achievements and robust stretch of activities to keep the State afloat under the current economic realities. It has promoted the culture of transparency and accountability as the vehicle for achieving rapid economic growth and development in the State as enunciated in the New Direction Blueprint Agenda of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State.
Ministry of Information & Communications
Room 311, New State