By Ali Abare
The Nasarawa State government has adopted a performance based budgeting system aimed at adapting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets into the development priorities of the state.
The state governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule disclosed this during the opening ceremony of a high level interactive workshop on mainstreaming the SDGs into state budget and development, on Thursday, in Lafia, the state capital.
The workshop has the theme: “Mainstreaming the SDGs into State Budget and Development Planning.”
Engineer Sule pointed out that mainstreaming the SDGs will enable the state to integrate needs of the people from a globally accepted institutional framework, as well as provide solutions that are measurable.
The governor, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, explained that the approach will equally attract funding from development partners, promote transparency and accountability.
Engineer Sule noted that it has become necessary for government to streamline its development efforts towards realization of the SDGs within the 10 years tagged: “Decade for Action”, especially considering the meager and dwindling resources accruing to the state.
Accordingly, the governor directed the state Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget and other appropriate organs of government, to collaborate with the SDGs for a hitch-free free budget integration process.
Engineer Sule, while recalling the commitment of his administration to entrench processes, develop systems and build institutions towards realizing its development agenda for progress, prosperity of the people, said the workshop was aimed at inculcating the goals of the SDGs into the psyche of public officers with the sole objective of mainstreaming the goals into development plans of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The governor further disclosed that Nasarawa was the only state that presented a coordinated and detailed blueprint for development, Nasarawa State Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) at the recently concluded 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which focused mainly on strategies towards attaining the SDGs.
“Nasarawa is the only state in Nigeria that has brought SDGs with Development Partners under one roof, thereby ensuring that participating partners key into the development imperative of the state,” Engineer Sule stated.
He urged participants at the workshop to utilize the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the requirements for the adaptation of performance based budgeting system in the state.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on SDGs, Abubakar Murtala Mohammad, said the workshop was an avenue for the sharing of knowledge on how to integrate the 17 SDGs goals into the development agenda and vision of the administration of Engineer Sule, particularly the NEDS, with a view to making Nasarawa among the top three most industrialized states in the country by 2023.
The SSA added that at the end of the integration exercise, Nasarawa will witness improved budget performance, a more transparent fiscal policy framework, efficiency in resource allocations, as well as effective internal revenue generation drive.
“With proper monitoring and evaluation of our progress, failure can be detected, avoided or even reversed,” Mohammad explained.
Those attending the two-day workshop include members of the state House of assembly, chairpersons of local government areas, local government secretaries, permanent secretaries, heads of agencies and SDG desk officers.