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BUDGETING AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA

ACCOUNTING PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

BUDGETING AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN PLATEAU STATE: A CASE STUDY OF PLATEAU STATE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
ABSTRACT
The researcher’s intention in this research was to find out the extent of the impact of budgeting and service delivery in Plateau State, using the Ministry of Finance as case study. Out of 200 questionnaires that were administered to the respondents, 195 questionnaires were filled and returned. The researcher made used of simple percentage and chi-square methods in data presentation and analysis. The discovery made through the research shows that the problems associated with budgeting and service delivery in Plateau State include poor funding, corruption, lack of continuity, poor planning and lopsidedness of projects. It was recommended that the above problems can be tackled through adequate audit function and check mechanisms, inter-agency collaboration and the recruitment of employees with proven integrity and good stewardship.
 
 
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

The responsibility of every government to its people, to its citizens is the provision of essential goods and services (Felix, 2012:11). Government regulates the public sector as part of the economy that provides services such as employment, roads, electricity, water, health, education, security and a host of other public services. These services that the government needs to provide are so enormous due to increase population. As economist would put it, “human wants are unlimited” (Akor, 2002:46), but the means to satisfy them are limited; this therefore call for an efficient management tools that will harness the limited resources for optimal use. One of the key tools of government for efficient management of resources for service delivery is the budget.
 
Budget is the single most important policy vehicle of government for giving effect to a country’s economic and social priorities. According to Aremo (2000:2) it is a management tool for the formulation and implementation of policy objectives in concrete terms. As an integral part of planning, budget plays a significant role in the development process, as it is through budget that goals and targets for the effective mobilization of resources both human and material for the attainment of given organizational objectives are realized.
 
According to Bendlebury (2005:72), budget making and budget implementation involve the process of identification of public needs and the determination of the quality of goods and services to satisfy these needs through the political process by economic analysis with the overall development plan objectives. This indicates that government prepares budget in form of public policy to serve as a driver through which its mission could be achieved. The budget often specifies in financial terms, the projects and programmes that the government intends to pursue within a year. Budget is thus viewed as the plan of dominant individuals in an organisation expressed in monetary terms and subject to the constraints imposed by other participants and the environment indicating how the available resources may be utilized to achieve whatever the dominant individual agreed to be the organisation’s proprieties (Omolehinwa, 2003:12). As a comprehensive financial plan, budget is expected to set forth the expected route for achieving the financial and operational goals of the government. At an early stage of its evolution, budgeting was primarily concerned with serving the purpose of legislative accountability and extends further to executive actions for the provision of social services.
 
The practice of budgeting, as it is now understand, originated in the central government of Great Britain (Felix, 2012:12). It later developed gradually as a result of parliament’s struggle to obtain control over the finance of the crown. In 1217, it was declared in Magna Charta that “no cottage or aid shall be imposed in the kingdom unless by the Common Council of realm.” After the revolution of 1688, parliament now approved the right to authorized expenditure by the Crown as well as taxation apart from items in the sovereign’s civil list, which was gradually reduced until it covered only the personal expenses of royal family (Bendlebury, 2005:73). Parliament now began to fix government total expenditure and to prescribe or appropriate the amount to be spent for parliamentary purposes (California Department of Finance, 1998:2). Since then, budget became a framework for revenue and expenditure outlays over a specified period usually a year, for most nations of the world.
 
In Nigeria, budget is adjudged as an instrument stipulating policies and programmes aimed at realizing the development objectives of a government. The government’s responsibility to provide services thus lies on how effective its budgets are implemented whether at the local, state or federal level (Uzoma, 1994:3). As good as most budgets are in Nigeria, the actual performance level is often determined by the public services that the government is able to deliver to its people within the stipulated time frame.
 
However, budget accomplishment by government is far from reality and the disparity between budget and accomplishment are usually wide and kept on abating as years passes by. On the other hand, public service delivery by the government has continued to deteriorate despite huge budgetary and supplementary budgetary expenditures. There is now a huge concern about government’s inability to effectively execute budgets to meet public utility demands either due to intergovernmental fiscal challenges or corruption (Romanus, 2012:27). The most frequent concern has been the partial or total disregard of procurement regulations and procedures, where they exist. Procurement procedures and regulations according to Nigeria’s Financial Regulations (2000:62) specify the price and quality of goods and services that are authorized in the budget including obligations and authorization to incur expenditures. They also emphasize on authorization before ministries and spending agencies can incur an obligation to make expenditures for public services. The other ministries and parastatals must thus secure spending authorization from the ministry of finance through the use of warrants in order to control expenditure. The question that comes to mind is: to what extent have budgets implementation delivered services to the people of Plateau State?
 
This study intends to investigate into the contributions of budgeting in enhancing service delivery in Plateau State.
 

  • Statement of the Problem

The overall goal budgeting is to enhance the judicious use of public funds in order to ensure adequate services delivery (Ogba, 2009:4); hence reduction of poverty, increased the level of accountability and transparency; reduction in unemployment; and equitable redistribution of resources depends on efficient service delivery.
 
It is undeniable that despite the efforts by various government institutions and organs to deliver services to the people, incidences of water shortages; dilapidated road networks; erratic power supply, poorly equipped schools and health centres have persists. In their submission, Kabir & Bustani (2013:55) said despite high profile programmes, policies and projects encapsulated in budgets of Nigeria, the level of service delivery and living conditions of the people are degenerating and worsening.
 
Nigeria is a country that is blessed with vast human and natural resources. Government particularly, at the States and Local Government levels often make projections and allocate resources through budgeting to meet service delivery. But despite government investments via budgeting, poverty, inequality, infrastructures and other public services have continued to be key concerns in Nigeria.
 
It is to this effect that the following research questions were raised, to shape the direction of this study.

  1. To what extent have budgeting implementation delivered services to the people of Plateau State?
  2. What are the critical problems associated with budgeting and service delivery in Plateau State?
  3. To what extent does budgeting stimulate inclusive governance in Plateau State?
  4. To what extent does the implementation of budget influence security and health care delivery in Plateau State?

 
 

  • Research Hypotheses

This research work has the following hypotheses:

  1. Ho: That the implementation of budgets have not   significantly delivered services in Plateau State.

H1:    That the implementation of budgets have significantly       delivered services in Plateau State.

  1. Ho: Budget discontinuity does not significantly affect service   delivery in Plateau State.

H1:    Budget discontinuity significantly affects service delivery in Plateau State.
 

  • Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to access the impact of budget implementation in service delivery in Plateau State. Other specific objective includes:

  1. To determine the extent budget implementation has responded to service delivery in areas of education, water and infrastructures in Plateau State.
  2. To ascertain at least the level of successes and lapses in interaction between budget implementation and service delivery in Plateau State.
  3. To examine the extent to which budgeting stimulate inclusive governance in Plateau State.
  4. To propose and make recommendations for effective budget implementation and service delivery in Plateau State.
  5. To determine the extent of the improvement in health care delivery and security as a result of budget implementation in Plateau State.

 

  • Significance of the Study

*        This research on budgeting and service delivery in Plateau State is significant because it would contribute to existing literature in the area of development studies.
*        The piece of work will highlight areas of improvement in formulating effective strategies for implementing budgets in service delivery in Plateau State. This will help policy makers to design the strategy for effective monitoring of budget its implementation and role in service delivery hence useful to benefiting communities.
*        Possibly, the research work will be a viable reference material to stakeholders and help to solve difficulties of other interest groups who might be faced with similar problems.
*        It will thus be a viable asset as it will add to existing academic knowledge in development studies.
Again, the study will be significant to both the legislature and the executive organ of organisation in Plateau State in managing and channeling public funds within specific areas of jurisdiction such as capital and recurrent expenditures. This will help towards improving accountability, transparency and probity in the disbursement of funds to provide services.
 

  • Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to the assessment of the impact of budget implementation and service delivery in focal communities of Jos South, Kanke and Quan’Pan Local Government Areas which span between 2007 – 2011.
 

  • Limitation of the Study

 
The study is limited by the time frame provided to carry out this research. The restricted time limit makes it difficult to assess all budgets implementation and service delivery in all local government areas of the State.
 
Inadequate financial resources at my disposal has also constrained the researcher to conduct a more comprehensive study of government budgets implementation and service delivery in all sectors of development in the State.
 

  • Methodology of the Study

This study has the following research methodology:
Source of Data
The sources of data for this research are derived from primary and secondary sources. The primary data would be generated through oral interviews and questionnaires that would be administered to focal communities that are beneficiaries of service delivery, while oral interviews would be directed to officials of the Local Government Councils such as directors, supervisory councillors of finance, revenue collectors, desk officers, councillors alongside village heads and community leaders.
 
The researcher adopts primary data in this study because it will provide first hand and undiluted information drawn from questionnaire and oral interviews.
 
Secondly, primary data is considered appropriate in this study because of its flexibility, objectivity and it gives a wider range of expression. Besides, it is easier to administer and it saves cost.
 
Similarly, gathering secondary data will rest extensively on document such as textbooks on budgets and development administration; official government reports, records of events obtained from internet, journals, articles in magazines and newspapers about budget implementation.
 
Exploring secondary source of data will afford the researcher the privilege to re-analyse re-interpret, counter analyse and proffer new insights to data on budget implementation and service delivery.
 

  • Population of the Study

For the purpose of this research, a population size of 200 people, consisting of focal communities of Jos South, Kanke and Quan Pan Local Government Areas of Plateau State shall constitute the target population of study.
 

  • Sample Size and Sampling Technique

For the purpose of this research, a sample size of 200 population drawn from the focal communities of Jos South, Kanam and Quan’ Pan Local Government Areas. Jos South with the general population of 306,716 will be allocated a total of 101 questionnaires; Kanke Local Government Area with the population of 124,218 will gulp 41 questionnaires, Qua’an Pan LGA will have 58 questionnaires because of population figure of 179,276 (National Population Commission Census, 2006).
 
We derived our sample size in each Local Government Area using the formular:
Sample Size x Population of Local Government Area
Total Population of Study Areas
 
 
Techniques of Data Collection
This study intends to use both primary and secondary techniques of data collection. The process of obtaining primary data includes administration of 200 questionnaires and conducting interviews within the focal areas of the target population of Jos South, Kanke and Quan’Pan Local Government Areas of Plateau State. Meanwhile, out of the 200 questionnaires distributed only 195 were returned.
 
On the other hand, the technique to be used in collecting secondary data will be through the inspection of documentaries on budget and service delivery, legislative oversight reports, journals, newspapers, articles and magazines related to budgets and services delivered by government.
 
 
 

  • Sampling Technique

In selecting the sampling technique for this research work, the random sampling method will be used to administer 200 questionnaires in focal communities of Jos South, Kanke and Quan’ Pan Local Government Areas of Plateau State. While a purposive interview shall be directed to the local government officials such as the Directors, Supervisory Councillors, Revenue Collectors, Desk Officers alongside village heads and community leaders.
 
1.8.4 Method of Data Presentation and Analysis
For the purpose of this research work, a simple descriptive statistical tool would be applied. We shall adopt a chi-square method where the responses would be categorized and tested using the following formulars:
X = ∑(O – E)2
E
Where:
∑       =        Summation
O       =        Observed frequency
E       =        Expected frequency.
 
 
 

  • Operational Definitions

Operational definition of this work includes some concepts that are repeatedly used in the course of this study. They include concepts such as budgeting, budget implementation, service delivery, public sector and budgetary control.
1.9.1 Budget
Budget in this study is defined in line with the view of Aremo (2000:11) that budget is a financial quantitative strategy prepared and approved prior to a defined period of time of the policy to be pursued during that period for the purpose of attaining a given objective.
1.9.2 Budget Implementation
This is the stage of budget concerned with the actual execution of policies and programmes identified in a budget. This definition corresponds with the view of Egonmwan (2001:162) who sees budget implementation as the action stage in the overall budgeting process whereby institutions of government direct resources and efforts towards the translation of goals into concrete results in terms of services such as roads, water, electricity amongst others.
 
 
 
1.9.3 Service Delivery
The definition of service delivery given by Oshishami (1994:126) will be adopted in this study. Oshishami sees service delivery as the act of ensuring that services such as sanitation, education, health, roads, water, employment, electricity amongst others are delivered to the beneficiaries.
 
1.9.4 Public Sector
The definition of public sector in this study is similar to the one given by CIMA (1990:5). According to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Nigerian public sector consists of the three separate levels of government (i.e. Federal, State and Local Government) whose powers and relationships are not only defined but are also guaranteed by the constitution. They conduct their activities via ministries and/or extra-ministerial departments and parastatals.
 
1.9.5 Budgetary Control
Budgetary control in this research is defined as the establishment of budgets relating to the responsibility of executives to the requirement of a policy and continuous comparison of actual with the budgeted results either to secure by individual action the objective of that policy or to provide a basis for its reason (CIMA, 1990:89).

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