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Reps to introduce budget monitoring app

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By Usman Oladimeji

NASS Eyes app is to keep track of budget transparency and execution.

According to Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the National Assembly will soon introduce an application called “NASS Eyes” to keep surveillance of budget transparency and execution by the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA) of the government. The impacted MDAs’ adherence to the principles of federal character will also be surveyed. Hon. Kalu, who made this disclosure during a courtesy call from the management of a high-tech firm AfriLabs, explained that the mechanism is motivated by the deliberate attempt of parliament to efficiently monitor the use of allocated budgets by government departments and agencies.

Hon. Kalu stated that while thinking about the economic and entrepreneurial sector, one should also consider technological advances in leadership. “How can we put that to use in our oversight roles so that we can direct government departments and agencies from our comfortable offices? “As a result, we will be able to perform our supervision responsibilities not just through reports provided upon visiting the MDAs, but also through periodic assessments of the MDAs’ operations every day.

Thorough analysis will be conducted to gain understanding.

Members of Parliament will be better informed if they have access to a dashboard showing what data is being collected by the MDAs. By the time they get there, they’ll have learned everything they need to know to effectively oversee taxpayer funds. It’s something important to consider. He further mentioned that the parliament is planning to implement the system he called “NASS EYES” to keep surveillance on the MDAs while they do their jobs. The MDAs will also be required to upload some of the key performance indicators they will be providing.

Following that, the Deputy Speaker said, a thorough analysis will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding of MDAs budget performance even before the budget presentations take place. It is crucial to avoid rushing through the budget performance presentation, as it often lacks the necessary level of detail. Also, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria budgeting, innovations and technology will help scrutinize and assess the criticality of needs analysis within the budget. This approach also serves as a safeguard against the potential for budget paddings orchestrated by influential individuals who may be driven by personal desires, Hon. Kalu said.

Technology would help assess MDAs project allocation.

He also emphasized the need to utilize technology in parliament’s monitoring tasks, noting that this would allow for better measurement of government agencies operations and provide E-Parliament with a much-needed boost. Technology would also help assess whether or not parliament members and MDAs’ allocation of projects is having the desired effect on their constituencies. It will also shed light on whether or not the projects are allocated evenly, fairly, and equitably across the country, as required by section 14 of part B of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which addresses federal character and its effects on such matters.

To him, this is driven by the endeavour to ensure an increased level of accountability and transparency in the leadership space. Mrs. Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director of AfriLabs, had earlier told the Deputy Speaker that AfriLabs provides multilateral support systems to numerous organizations across the African globe in regards to capacity building and other related areas. Ekeledo claims that her firm, along with international organizations, multilateral and development financing institutions, organises initiatives to discover innovative solutions across numerous industries like the financial industry.

Taking this measure will reduce budget padding.

The House of Representatives’ decision to introduce an app to monitor appears to be a prudent one. Normally, budget monitoring focuses on addressing the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and impact of the budget and adopting technology to streamline this process will make it highly effective. The input, activity, output, outcome, and effect levels of objectives and targets should be considered in any monitoring and assessment of the budget or projects. Taking this measure will reduce opportunities for corruption in the system and budget padding.

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