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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE-DAY VIRTUAL TECHNICAL SESSION ON KADUNA STATE 2024 BUDGET WITH THE THEME: MEDIUM TERM EXPENDITURE FRAMEWORK AND ENTRY POINTS FOR CITIZENS’ ENGAGEMENT.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE-DAY VIRTUAL TECHNICAL SESSION ON KADUNA STATE 2024 BUDGET WITH THE THEME: MEDIUM TERM EXPENDITURE FRAMEWORK AND ENTRY POINTS FOR CITIZENS’ ENGAGEMENT.

PREAMBLE

On the 12th of June, 2023, the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) in collaboration with Budget Research and Development Policy Advocacy Center (BREDPAC) facilitated a one-day virtual technical session on Kaduna State 2024 Budget process. The aim of the session was to strengthen the capacity of non-State actors in Public Financial Management (PFM) as well as empower them to effectively engage and influence the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is a basis for the annual budget preparation in Kaduna State.

In attendance were the Director of Budget in the State Planning and Budget Commission, representatives of Accountability Mechanisms, Civil Society Organizations, media and Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL). The presentations and interactive session generated discussions with the key highlights and resolutions captured below.

HIGHLIGHT OF DISCUSSIONS

The 2024 budget calendar has been made public by the State Planning & Budget Commission. Hence, the need for Civil Society (CS) partners to commence early engagement of the budget process. It is imperative that the capacity of the CS is strengthened to engage and influence the development of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL), 2016, in section 18 (2,a), mandates the Commissioner of the Planning & Budget Commission to hold public consultation on MTEF as well as in line with subsection (2,c) consider and reflect as may be deemed appropriate the input of bodies and persons referred to in subsection (2a and b).

With a few exceptions, the State government’s approved budgets has over the years not adhered to the MTEF recommended budget size as evident in the budget accuracy trend analysis. Even though there has been improvement, the evident non-alignment has continued to reflect in the variance between budget releases and cash-backing to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

It is imperative for the State government to ensure the budget process aligns with the objectives of Public Financial Management (PFM), which includes: protecting aggregate fiscal sustainability, allocating resources to strategic priorities, ensuring value for money in service delivery as well as transparency and accountability.

The success of any public financial management system is largely dependent on the political will of the leadership, enabling policies that provide the right environment for reform initiatives as well as ensure the process is adaptive, iterative and inclusive.

The entry points for citizens to engage the Public Financial Management system in the State are; the annual sector performance review, MTEF stakeholders’ consultation, the Community Development Charter (CDC) process, draft budget town hall meeting, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitment on budget.

In addition to the provision of section 18 of FRL, the CS and accountability mechanisms need to lobby during the sectors’ (Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs)) budget allocation dialogue as well as the Estimate Committee. Waiting till after the draft budget has been harmonized to do budget analysis and presentation during town-hall meeting or public hearing makes it more difficult to influence the final budget.

There is a need for civil society to engage and collaborate more with the Legislature in order to better influence the budget process, especially with the passage of the Legislative Finance Autonomy (control and management) law, 2021. As this gives the legislature more independence to hold the Executive accountable.

The State has since 2017 been publishing the MTEF and the draft copy for 2023 will soon be made available by the Commission for citizens to analyze, make comparisons and provide constructive criticism and recommendations to the commission.

The CS need to focus more on how the annual budgets are translating or contributing to development outcomes in the State.

The Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KAD-LGAM) stated that it carried out CDC success story harvesting – which showed that some of the CDC submitted through the portal for the 2023 budget had been implemented so far in at least two Local Governments.

RESOLUTIONS

Call on the State Planning & Budget Commission to provide early notice of at least two weeks, from the day the draft MTEF is made public, to CS and other stakeholders before the forthcoming MTEF consultation to enable better preparation and result-based engagement.

The CS should go beyond budget analysis to synthesis – using a system-wide approach in order to have a bigger picture of budget realism and credibility.

A CS technical committee (made up of CSOs, accountability mechanisms, academia and relevant professional bodies) will be set up to review, analyze and proffer recommendations when the 2024-2026 MTEF is made public.

The 2024 validated CDC priority needs from the 23 LGAs will be immediately forwarded by KAD-LGAM to the Planning & Budget Commission through the portal (www.citizensdemand.org). This is in order to attach it with the expenditure call circular that will be sent to the MDAs.

Signed:

Yusuf Ishaku Goje
Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED)

Dr. Auta Elisha Menson
Budget Research & Development Policy Advocacy Centre (BREDPAC)

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