Budget Vs. Finance: Office function clash, Officials to sort out issue

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President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma putting heads together on the way forward for the 2016 Budget.April 10, 2016. PhotoCredit: The Nation

Officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation will today (Friday) meet over the clash in some of their functions, correspondent have revealed.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in November last year created the Ministry of Budget and Planning from the Finance ministry.

Buhari had named Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and Senator Udo Udoma as ministers of Finance and Budget and Planning, respectively.

Before then, the budget office was under the supervision of the Finance ministry, which had handled both the financial and budgeting issues for the Federal Government

However, it was gathered from top government officials that the Finance ministry and the budget office had in recent times been experiencing some operational challenges owing to the clash in some of their functions.

The development, according to sources, has led to a form of cold war between officials of the ministry and those of the budget office.

Specifically, it was learnt that two departments in the budget office (fiscal policy and revenue) and one department in the Finance ministry (cash management office) were mostly affected by the clash in functions.

The revenue department performs the role of estimation of all Federal Government’s oil and non-oil revenues; reviews the management of revenue collection; handles inter-governmental revenue allocation matters; and carries out periodic review of revenue performance, among others

The functions of the revenue office are said to be clashing with the cash management office in the Finance ministry, which was set up by Adeosun in September this year.

The cash management office in the Finance ministry is saddled with the responsibility of allocating resources that accrue to the treasury to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

Its job is to assess the needs of the various MDAs, matched them with available resources and consider the degree of utilisation of the previous capital vote releases.

In doing so, it tries to inject more money to implement the capital components of government programmes based on the utilisation capacity of the respective MDAs.

A circular issued by the Director, Technical Services in the ministry, Larai Shuaibu, stated that the Minister of Finance would be meeting with the directors whose departments were affected by the clash in responsibilities.

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