From Segun Babatunde in Gombe
In line with public financial management reform in Nigeria, Gombe State has taken the lead in an effort to produce strategic, realistic and forward looking annual budgets as envisaged by its 10- year development plan, also known as development agenda for Gombe State, DEVAGOM.
To this end, Gombe State Government in partnership with the Nigeria Governor’s Furum and United States Agency for International Development, USAID is conducting a Workshop for officers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the State’s Medium Term Sector Strategy, MTSS at the Gombe International Hotel.
Declaring the workshop open Wednesday, the State Commissioner for Finance, Muhammad Gambo Magaji explained that the role of civil servants in formulating and executing government plans especially the medium-term sector strategies cannot be over emphasized.
He expressed confidence in the ability of the participants to dissect the issues at stake, saying the civil servants are the same thematic group that prepared the Gombe 10- year Development Plan, otherwise known as the Development Agenda for Gombe State, DEVAGOM.
The Commissioner stated that the success or failure of government programmes are largely determined by planning and budgeting to which civil servants play crucial roles.
The Special Adviser to Gombe State Governor on Budget, Planning and Development Partners Coordination, Dr. Ishiyaku Mohammed said that the Medium Term Sector Strategy is the implementation framework for the DEVAGOM.
He said it provides the link between policy and resource allocation, expressing optimism on the potential of the workshop to equip and empower civil servants and officials to deliver on the ambitious goals of the Inuwa Yahaya administration as captured in DEVAGOM.
Dr. Ishiyaku Mohammed said this is the first time that the Medium Term Sector Strategy process is being conducted in the state and is a model for the entire country as it derives directly from the Gombe 10-year development plan.
“As you are aware, during the launch of the plan, His Excellency charged that there should be a very robust implementation framework for the plan so that it doesn’t end up being a plan that is lying on the shelves; so what has happened now with the support of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and USAID is that we have been availed some technical support in the form of about eleven experts in financial management and policy that are now training our Directors to PRS and Directors of the different technical departments of all the eleven sectors that align with the five pillars of our 10- year development plan”.
He added that at the end of the 3-day Workshop, they would have been able to produce 5 medium sectors for health, education, water and sanitation, Agriculture and infrastructure.
The development planning expert is confident that this workshop is a major step in the actualization of the Gombe State 10- Year Development Plan.
The Senior Programme Manager, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Olanrenwaju Ajogbasile and the Resident Public Financial Management, USAID State- to-State, Dr Eunice Ngozi Okpala Okoraofor commended the Governor of Gombe State for deeming it necessary to convoke the MTSS meeting in order to ensure a strategic budget planning and implementation.
To both experts, such foresight indicates leadership and uncommon commitment of the Governor to work the talk.
Director-General of the Gombe State Civil Service Reforms had earlier challenged participants to be resolute while the training lasts.