Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, has emphasized the need for regular training of Legislators in the budgeting process so as to equip them with the requisite skills to carryout their constitutional responsibility of scrutinizing and approving budgets.
Speaker Bassey stated this while declaring open an in-house workshop on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) budgeting template for members of the 7th Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Lagos.
The speaker who was represented by his deputy, Felicia Bassey, described the training as part of the strategic exposures of the 7th Assembly members to which the leadership of the house is committed to ensure that they abreast themselves with contemporary trends critical to the success of governance and the business of efficient representation.
Chairman of the Appropriations and Finance Committee of the House, Mr Uduak Odudoh, speaking of the imperative of the training, said if members of the legislature will be effective and efficient in the all important responsibility of scrutinizing the allocation and management of scarce resources for rapid economic development, training was needed.
Mr Odudoh further emphasized that the session became more needful because Akwa Ibom State had not just adopted the IPSAS Budgeting Process since 2014 but proceeded to migrate from Cash to IPSAS Accrual template in all its financial management in 2018.
He commended all stakeholders who participated in and sent-in memoranda ahead of the public hearing earlier held on the budget.
The Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Professor Abubakar Suleiman, said the Federal Government had adopted IPSAS to enhance the quality, consistency and transparency of the public sector financial reporting by all tiers of government in the federation and improving the comparability of financial information reportage in line with world best practices.
While applauding Akwa Ibom State for the timely adoption of IPSAS, the NILDS DG said the process does not only aid the efficient management of funds but also the fight against corruption.
He outlined some challenges in budgeting processes to include the absence of a defined framework on which MDAs premise their proposed capital and overstated amounts on personnel cost saying such challenges and several others can be effectively curtailed if states fully comply with the implementation of IPSAS adding that oversight a key responsibility of legislators is necessary to ensure that appropriated funds are judiciously spent thereby ensuring good governance.
Oriyomi Tolu Femi, in a paper entitled Budgeting Cash and Accrual Bases: An Overview, analyzed the rational for IPSAS, its background as well as the IPSAS provisions highlighting the implication of each after which Mr Akpan Umoh in a paper entitled National Charts of Accounts, said the chart is the backbone and skeletal system that drives IPSAS adoption and implementation in financial reporting and budgeting.
Mr Umoh said it is expedient for operators in all sectors of the economy to have full knowledge, understanding and application of the National Chart of Accounts on IPSAS implementation to ensure transparency in financial reporting and Budgeting consistent with international best practices and benchmark.