CISLAC, Reps Brainstorm Over Social Sector Finance As Donor Funding Sources Dwindle




House Of Representatives Committees On Appropriation in conjunction with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on  Monday held a retreat to brainstorm on how to mobilize funds for the  social sector.This  became even more appropriate in the face of dwindling sources of donour funds to Nigeria.

According to the communiqué at the end of the retreat, the participants observed that “Delays in and inadequate release of funds remain a major challenge to effective and timely resource mobilisation, allocation and utilisation for social sector development in Nigeria.

“The rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP in 2014 projected the nation as a middle income economy. This has resulted in dwindling donor resources, with the effect that that by the 2022, aids, grants and concessionary loans for funding social sector programmes, especially in the health sector, would become unavailable for Nigeria to access.

“There is the need to critically observe, analyse, and address the impacts of Nigeria’s transition from lower to middle income status and proffer proactive, robust and holistic solutions.

It was also bserved that “The rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP does not truly reflect the status of the economy. This is due to the wide level of income and social inequality and effectively contradicts Nigeria’s transition from being a lower to a middle income nation.

Newsdiaryonline observed that some of the participants argued for effective mapping of the real needs of Nigeria in order to determine how much is truly needed to tackle them.

House of Reps members present at the  one-day retreat include:  Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, Mustapha Bala Dawaki, Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe and  Babangida Ibrahim among several others.

Read the  communiqué below:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AFTER A ONE-DAY RETREAT FOR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS ON UNDERSTANDING NIGERIA’S LOWER MIDDLE INCOME STATUS AND UNLOCKING POTENTIAL FOR LOCAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION FOR SOCIAL SECTOR FINANCING ORGANISED BY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEES ON APPROPRIATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) HELD AT TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA ON JULY 17TH, 2017.

 

The House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation in conjunction with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organised a one-day retreat for National Assembly Members. The retreat was aimed at providing an enabling platform for the Members to interact in proffering holistic solutions to the current trend and challenges confronting adequate and sustainable social sector financing coupled with the need to harness and strengthen domestic resources for social sector financing in the face of dwindling donors’ funding. The retreat drew about 60 participants from House of Representatives, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, civil society, the media and development partners.  It featured presentations from experts and representative of Minister of Budget and National Planning.

After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:

Observations

  1. Adequate and sustainable financing for the social sectors of health, agriculture and education, remain paramount for achieving a healthy, secured and developed Nigerian society.
  2. Delays in and inadequate release of funds remain a major challenge to effective and timely resource mobilisation, allocation and utilisation for social sector development in Nigeria.
  3. The rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP in 2014 projected the nation as a middle income economy. This has resulted in dwindling donor resources, with the effect that that by the 2022, aids, grants and concessionary loans for funding social sector programmes, especially in the health sector, would become unavailable for Nigeria to access.
  4. There is the need to critically observe, analyse, and address the impacts of Nigeria’s transition from lower to middle income status and proffer proactive, robust and holistic solutions.
  5. The rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP does not truly reflect the status of the economy. This is due to the wide level of income and social inequality and effectively contradicts Nigeria’s transition from being a lower to a middle income nation.
  6. Nigeria’s revenue to GDP ratio, which stood at approximately 6% in 2016, ranks lowest in world.
  7. Remaining as a mono-product economy and lack of innovation maximising tax revenues with increased focus on non-oil revenues, will result in a perpetual funding gap and failure to effectively harnessing domestic resources for financing social sector interventions.
  8. Inefficiency in tax collection and administration paves the way for tax evasion and corruption, creating loopholes and leakages in governments’ revenue generation capacity.

Recommendations

  1. Prompt design of a holistic exit strategy from dependency on donor funding for social sector programmes in Nigeria and replacing it with a robust framework for generating domestic resources to ensure sustainability.
  2. Leveraging appropriate domestication and full-fledged implementation of various internationally ratified pro-poor policies on agriculture, health, education will help to enhance and harness local potential adequate and sustainable resource mobilisation for social sector.
  3. Enhanced synergy among Ministries of Budget and National Planning, Finance and other benefitting Ministries and Agencies to promote cohesion in the implementation of intervention projects to enhance efficiency, curb wastages and therefore minimize the impact of the decline in ODA flows in Nigeria.
  4. There is the need work toward reduction in the cost of social interventions by commencing plans for the local production of vaccines and other inputs, which represent the costliest components of aids and grants, arising  from costs associated with importation.
  5. There should be proactive and coordinated budgeting by all levels of government to promote more efficient funding of and improved outcomes in the social sector, rather than the present excessive focus on federal budgetary allocations.
  6. Appropriate and holistic National Population Policy to appropriately capture and document adequate and accurate data to be used for effective planning, address pending issues like social inequality and establish Nigeria’s actual socio-economic status as a low or middle income nation, for effective social sector planning and financing.
  7. Prioritising key sector of the economy to mitigate wastage and shortfall in resource mobilisation and allocation for adequate and sustainable social sector financing in Nigeria.
  8. Adequate training and re-training programmes for tax administrator at all levels to promote innovation, expansion of the revenue base and coordination in tax collection and administration process for enhanced domestic resource mobilisation for social sector financing.
  9. Institutionalising revenue and expenditure tracking; and judicious utilisation of the nation’s revenue to effectively finance social sector and encouraging citizens’ contribution towards revenue generation process.
  10. Immediate review and amendment of the nation’s obsolete tax legislations to enhance efficiency and innovation in the tax collection and administration, and sustainable revenue generation in Nigeria.
  11. Adopting international best practices in tax legislation and administration such as voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme with provision for tracking compliance for lack of comprehensive data and citizens’ identification.

Signed:

Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki

House Committee Chairman on Appropriation

Hon. Babangida Ibrahim

House Committee Chairman on Finance

Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe

House Committee Chairman on Sustainable Development Goals

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

 

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