Policy Briefs

Oseloka H. Obaze (OHO) Speaks at UNIZIK – decries the truncation of federal budgetary cycle 

Oseloka H. Obaze, MD/CEO Selonnes Consult Ltd. and the immediate-past SSG of Anambra State has decried the decision by the federal government to allow the 2017 budget to run to June 2018. He said such policy decision made nonsense of the established budgetary cycle, created dissonance and room for fiscal abuses. 

Obaze, a frontline aspirant in the upcoming Anambra State governorship election on 18 November 2017, spoke at a public policy forum organized by the Department of Economics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka on Wednesday 21 June. 

According to Obaze, “Good public policies are society-centered and centered on public interest, public participation, adaptive leadership. Such policies are aimed at resolving complex problems, ensuring absence of dichotomy and effectively managing cost of governance.  

“Efficient public policy must reflect priority, be properly formulated, and funded, faithfully implemented and consistently evaluated, through measurable benchmarks, feedback and auditing.  

“Managing the cost of governance is important. There is room for shared responsibilities and complementarities, but this must be balanced with separation of responsibilities as it relates to constitutional provisions and exclusive lists-federal, state local government.

“Managing fiscal policies require intrusive focus and above all, measurable benchmarks. There must be clarity about how government raise, spend and manage public resources, including assets and liabilities, borrowing, investments procurement and disposal or sale of public assets. 

“You can’t spend what is not appropriated. After appropriation there must be AIE –authority to incur expenses. Corporate governance must include transparency; we must remember that accountability is answerability. 

“COG (Cost of Governance) remains exceedingly high. Besides policy incoherence, Nigeria still maintains a very huge public service at the federal, state and local government levels.  

“Cost of administering the legislative branch is mind-boggling. I heard a governor admit that “there is no recession in the government house” that is applicable to all government houses.

“ERGP – is welcome, but still a potpourri of past unfulfilled visions. It is said the repetition aids memory, but repetition of bad practices leads to a recycling of failure and perhaps disaster.  

“The 2016 2.3trn deficit laden budget ran to June 2017; The 2017 2.2trn deficit laden budget was only signed in June 2017 and is expected to run until June 2018. 

“The decision to allow the 2017 budget to run to June 2018 makes nonsense of the established budgetary cycle. Such truncation of federal budgetary cycle creates dissonance and room for fiscal abuses. Such overlap is dangerous, as it will encourage double-dipping, duplication, self-administration and limited oversight. 

“Diaspora bond of 300USD – is good idea, but where there is no confidence, there is capital flight including indigenous capital, which explains why Nigerians take their wealth abroad.  

“It’s intriguing that the FGN did not leverage on the over $22 billion in domiciliary accounts to stabilize the mercurial forex market and ward off recession.”

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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