From Uche Usim, Abuja
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Federal Government, will on February 10, unveil a new public finance management programme called Bottom-UpCash Planning Policy.The initiative, which takes off the same day the old naira notes ceases to be legal tender, has been in the works since 2009 when the Federal Government initiated a feasibility study to determine the best strategies to address its cash management challenges as part of its Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms.
Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, made the disclosure in Abuja at the training programme on Bottom-Up cash Planning Policy for Accountants of various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
According to him, shortly after the pilot roll-out of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) alongside the Treasury Single Account in April 2012, the process of implementing an efficient cash management system commenced.
He said: “Bottom-up cash planning, as the name suggests, is the collection and aggregation of government cash needs through the individual spending units. As part of the overall government cash management arrangement, it facilitates the optimal allocation and utilization of government cash resources.
“Other objectives are: minimising the costs of holding cash balances; reducing risk (operational, credit and market risk); adding flexibility to the ways in which the timing of government cash inflows and outflows can be matched; and supporting other financial policies.
“Implementation of Bottom-Up Cash Planning will bring more certainty to budget execution; and engender fiscal discipline”, Okolieaboh explained.
He further disclosed that the Bottom-up Cash Management Policy guidelines were approved by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on June 1, 2020, adding that the formal approval of its implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 24th of August, 2022 sets the stage for its roll out.
“As a follow-up to the approval, a Treasury Circular was issued on 2nd February, 2023, notifying MDAs of the Go Live date of 10th February, 2023. Today’s event is the first in a series of pre-go-live activities.
“This sensitisation event is meant to rally all Directors and Heads of Finance and Accounts towards ensuring the success of the policy because of their critical roles in the implementation of this important project. We can only succeed if each of us does his own part. Indeed, the success of the bottom-up cash planning policy will rely heavily on your ability and willingness to play your own part. Being bottom-up, the process starts effectively with you.
“Under the direction of your respective Accounting Officers, your specific roles include: constitution of in-house Cash Management Committees; sending details of your focal persons to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation; submission of your role players to be profiled on the GIFMIS platform; and using the full GIFMIS functionality from procurement to payment”, he added.