Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn has on Monday, and Tuesday conducted a 2-day sensitization on the 5 newly passed Public Financial Management (PFM) related Laws for citizens’ groups in Kano State.
The laws are Kano State Public Financial Management Law 2020, Kano State Public Procurement Law 2021, Kano State Debt Management Law, Kano State Audit Law, and Kano State and Local Government Revenue (codification and Consolidation) Law.
The objectives of the sensitization include, but are not limited to enlightening citizen groups on the provision of the laws and how to engage them; sensitizing stakeholders on their roles in the implementation of the financial reform laws.
Generally, reforms bring change for improvement. In the same manner, the purpose of the Kano PFM reform laws provides a legal framework for achieving and securing overall economic, fiscal stability, and allocative efficiency.
It also provides for operational efficiency by employing measures aimed at streamlining budget processes, supporting revenue administration, improving procurement processes, and strengthening external oversight to ensure transparency and accountability in government financial management.
Speaking at the event, the SFTAS Focal Person, Kano State Ministry of Finance, Imam Inuwa Gwale gave a brief on the importance of the PFM laws with an overview of SFTAS in the state.
“SFTAS is a program that supports states to implement the 22-Point fiscal sustainability plan and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Agenda to strengthen the fiscal transparency, accountability, and sustainability in Nigeria.
“The program is monitored and supervised by the Commissioners of Finance in all the 36 states of the federation over 4 years (2018-2021).
“The SFTAS aimed to significantly improve outcomes of participating states in 4 key result areas (KRA’s).”
He said: “In Kano, some of the successes of SFTAS are, increased fiscal transparency and accountability, strengthened domestic revenue mobilization, increased efficiency in public expenditure, and strengthened debt sustainability.
Adding that the 5 reform laws will provide an enabling environment for investors, control government activities, and discipline among the citizens.
Inuwa Gwale also recommended that the laws should be translated into Hausa and that stakeholder sensitization be conducted in the five emirate councils of the state.
On his part, the Director, Legal Legislative, Kano State Ministry of Justice, Salisu Abdullahi Marmara said the basis of the reforms is to bring positive change in government financial dealings in terms of preservation and allocation of resources. It encompasses the principles of transparency and accountability.
Marmara said the financial reforms are good but may face challenges in government will implementation, saying, If the government is interested in implementing the laws, they will be effective.
He also said the procurement law laid down procedures upon which contracts will be provided by the government.
“My advice for the contractors is that they should be familiar with the content of the laws so that whenever they are bidding for a contract, they know what to do,” he added.
The Acting Chairman, Indigenous Contractors, Yusuf Garba said the laws are in contrast with what is happening in reality.
Garba said government at all times should endeavor to do the right thing, believe in the reforms, and implement them with sincerity of purpose, if not all these exercises would be in vain.
A representative of the professional group at the event, the past Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Kano Branch, Engr. Rabiu Haruna said the NSE was a part of the formulation of the procurement law.
He said the NSE will monitor and supervise the implementation of the procurement law in Kano.
“It is a welcome development to have the procurement law in the state which will promote job opportunities, quality delivery as well as accountability.
“It is a known fact procurement is engineering, thus Professional engineers will have a lot of roles to play,” he added.
The Executive Director, Fiscal Discipline and Development Advocacy Center (FIDAC), Dr. Abdulsalam Muhammad Kani said the sensitization was highly educative, but the government needs to take the sensitization to rural communities.
He recommended that every MDA should have a weekly radio sensitization program on its roles in the implementation of the financial reform laws in the state.
PERL is a seven-year public-sector accountability and governance program in Kano, Kaduna, and Jigawa funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK.
It aims to improve collaboration between governments and citizens to tackle governance challenges and improve service delivery.