This policy brief focuses on strengthening planning and budgeting at state level in Nigeria. In 2002, many of the state planning and budgeting weaknesses could be directly associated with the ‘role ambiguities’ (both political and administrative) which persisted in the Nigeria Public Health System – between and within the three tiers of government. As a result, there was an absence of systematic links between policies, plans and budgets. Policies and plans were not articulated, with resource availability as a central constraining factor. Inadequate attention was paid in the planning process to public revenues and the ramifications for out-of-pocket payments (OOP) by households. In addition, planning and budgeting were not seen and deployed as core or integral parts of programme implementation and performance management. Plan and budget progress was rarely reviewed, monitored, or reported on.
Strategies to address these systemic weaknesses centred on:
- Agreeing with the SMoH and other stakeholders on what might be achieved in the annual (operational or business) planning and budgeting cycle
- Supporting strategic planning
For annual operational planning and budgeting, specific strategies focused on:
- Alignment with State Annual Planning and Budgeting Cycle
- Establishing state planning and budgeting teams to drive the process
- Implementing new Budget Codes and a modified Chart of Accounts
- Developing and applying new planning and budgeting formats
- Preparation of facility and departmental plans and budgets
- Strengthening budget processes: preparation, review, presentation and defence
- Building planning and budgeting capacities and systems
- Linking revenue planning and budgeting Significant steps were taken in all these areas to strengthen annual planning and budgeting
Significant steps were taken in all these areas – and more – to strengthen annual planning and budgeting.