Financial Management: NCDC poised to strengthen ties with donor community

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By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) will continue to apply financial management tools and techniques in its day-to-day decision-making process to build successful collaboration across the donors’ community.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, stated this in keynote address at the workshop on Financial Best Practices in Managing Government/Donor Funded Project and QuickBooks Accounting Software Training on Monday in Abuja.

The three-day workshop with theme, “ Public Sector Financial Reporting, The Why, What and How of Financial Statements was organised by Baltimore Tax and Financial Consults and supported by US-CDC, APIN and IHVN.

According to him, the mission of the NCDC can be better achieved in the atmosphere of good governance, of which sound financial management forms an integral part.

“We must continuously reassure the country and the international community of our commitment to programme efficiency and financial accountability.

“To succeed in today’s volatile financial environment, executives need to understand and drive the strategy of their organisation on the basis of sound financial principles.

“Good financial management is critically important and also, good practice of financial management will help staff to use programme funds to maximum effect, now and in the future.

This forum is particularly important because it is aimed at equipping the management staff of NCDC and the finance department with knowledge and skills for financial management.

“We all will continue to apply financial management tools and techniques in our day-to-day decision-making process, reduce adverse audit report, mitigate risks, and thereby build successful collaboration across the donors’ community,’’ Adetifa said.

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The NCDC boss explained that it is expected that participants would grasp the fundamentals of strategic finance issues and gain confidence to leverage managerial finance to improve decisions.

He reiterated that a good financial management system makes it easier to be accountable to donors and project beneficiaries, thereby enhancing respect and confidence in the organisation.

Adetifa added that this in turn would help NCDC to be more competitive and could increase its chances of maintaining long-term financial health.

“ This workshop is a positive step towards attaining NCDC Strategy and Implementation Plan 2023 – 2027. We planned to strengthen the infrastructure and supporting systems to ensure an enabling environment is in place’’.

Similarly, the Director of Finance and Account in NCDC, Mr Buhari Abdulahi said financial management as a function of good governance forms an integral part in the management of government and donor-funded projects.

According to him, it involves the strategic planning, budgeting and controlling of financial undertakings of government intervention funds and donor-funded activities.

“Sound financial management is crucial for achieving the goals of NCDC and the Donors. It boosts shared prosperity in a sustainable, transparent, accountable and efficient way in management of grant resources.

“Therefore, this workshop is aimed at equipping the management staff of NCDC and the finance department with knowledge and skills for financial management.

“During the workshop, participants will be introduced to the accounting system of NCDC, the budgetary control measure, and be exposed to foundation knowledge of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS).

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“Representatives of Donor Agencies will lead discussion on Donors’ policies and procedures for financial management, procurement, disbursement, reporting and auditing systems for effective and efficient delivery of projects’ objectives,’’ Abdullahi said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tajudeen Toyin-Oke, the Fiduciary Agent to NCDC that said his responsibility is to ensure that all the grants that come into NCDC and spending is in line with principle the donors have set.

Toyin-Oke said it was regrettable that over ten years, there has been an experience where after donor’s gives money they come to see a lot of mismanagement and misapplication of funds and ask government to make refund.

“Even when the staff is responsible for that, the Government of Nigeria would have to refund such money. So we are trying to discourage such.

“And most of the problems have to do with programme officers. They do not actually understand what they can or cannot do with donor funds.

There are some expenses that are not allowed, like entertainment.

“People would say when we have meetings, let’s have entertainment, but when donors come to check, they would raise eye brown saying the money was not for entertainment so you have to refund.

“So we are trying to carry everybody alone to make sure that the guidelines for all these plans are followed, so that NCDC staff would not be found wanting in the application of donor funds,’’ Toyin-Oke said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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edited by Sadiya Hamza

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