THE CHALLENGES OF BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION IN NIGERIA
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After explaining the budgetary process and giving a clear explanation of what a budget is and how important the budget implementation process is, we can now discuss the problems faced at this stage.
1) CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT
This is the very first and prime problem that the Nigerian budget implementation process is faced with. Corruption has eaten deep into the roots of the Nigerian system that fighting it looks almost like a lost battle. Government officials entrusted with public funds think about themselves first and misappropriate the funds carelessly. They stash the funds in their private accounts in Nigeria and foreign lands, building enough money pile to last generations. They see government office as a goldmine, hence the budget implementation suffers since the real purpose the money was disbursed for was not achieved, or was poorly achieved.
2) Nepotism and Tribalism
This is another major problem. The government gives out contracts for capital expenditure and supplies for their recurrent expenditure. However, they do not give to the right people. They give to their family members and friends. This accounts for the saying ”getting contracts depends on who you know and who knows you”. Hence, the most qualified people are not given these contracts, jobs and money to properly manage.
3) Unqualified Personnel
Another problem is the heavy concentration of unqualified personnel in government offices today. They got there through politics, so they might not really be the best for the job. Most don’t have good leadership and management traits. Hence the process suffers.
4) Poor Public Participation
The participation of the people in this process is very low die to high illitracy level and poverty rate. Also people are so busy with their own businesses and trying to make ends meet that they don’t have time to participate. Only a select few, especially the rich ones actually run everything.
This is a problem of concern especially in budget implementation at the local government level. Most of the local councils sources of income have been taken over by the state governments. They are small in size, hence, have little resources from which to generate resources internally. They are closer to the grassroots and should be given more consideration.
PROSPECTS OF BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION IN NIGERIA
– The grassroot government should be given more consideration as they are closer to the people and will be able to meet their needs quicker.
– Corruption should be fought with all power and might. However, corruption in Nigeria can only be solved when individuals start changing themselves first. It is not a ”top” problem. It is a general problem, since it is people from the bottom that still rise to the top and continue the act.
– Proper management, checks and balances should be put in place to make it more difficult for one person to manipulate things to his or her advantage.
– The improvements in technology would make things more transparent and monitoring easier. Technology is the solution to Nigeria’s corruption problem. With technology, every citizen very soon would be able to monitor their government’s activities and spending.
The future is bright. The government implementation process would be improved with technology and increased awareness. The budget implementation process is very crucial to the development of the country, and thus proper attention should be payed to it by everyone.