In order to create a foundation for sustainable governance in Osun State, the Rauf Aregbesola government through the state Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development is currently preparing a Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) for an all-encompassing State Development Plan, to ensure that the development of the state continues seamlessly even after the 2018 elections. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE reports that stakeholders are set to ensure that the MTSS is a success.
For any state to attain its goals in all spheres of development, the need for a State Development Plan (SDP) which is the overall planning document and guide for all state agencies to develop its plans, programs, and projects within the ambit of available resources cannot be over emphasized. Indeed, the SDP is the framework that ensures that state agencies establish priorities within allocated and usually limited resources to reflect the vision of the state for its citizens.
The need to put Osun on a smooth pedestal in launching its SDP to ensure that the state continues to follow the path of continuous development gave birth to the ongoing preparation of the Osun SDP which is expected to contain broad goals, outcomes in line with the core values and objectives of the state government to make life meaningful for its people in all spheres.
And based on Governor Aregbesola’s belief that there is greater works to be done in line with the foundation that he has laid as the welfare of the people of the state is too important to be left for people to conduct experiments, he set the process of a medium term development plan for all sectors in motion through the Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development.
And to further reiterate the commitment of government to ensuring that the plans are not just pipe dreams on paper, a two-day capacity building programme was organized for stakeholders from all sectors within the state between Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28 for selected Sector Plan Development Team at the Western Sun International Hotel, Ede.
The capacity building which was primarily to empower sector leaders for their roles in the preparation of the Osun SDP and aid their understanding of the scope of their responsibilities is a warm up to an upcoming strategy workshop which is also a critical part of the process as that is where far reaching decisions on the MTSS for all sectors will be taken.
The programme was a deep reflection of the Osun government’s desire to ensure continuity in its planned, orderly and coherent development of the state across all sectors, ensure its timely implementation through the annual budget, put a stop to project abandonment and stick to budget commitments.
The Aregbesola government believes that the effective production and implementation on the SDP will not only help the state economy to grow, provide essential services to achieve the desired development goals of the state, objective prioritization of projects and adequate allocation of resources towards specific strategic state goals and programmes within the constraints implied by the overall fiscal targets over a three-year period.
Emphasis was further laid on ensuring a linkage between government expenditures and state goals and programmes that will be articulated in the SDP, ensuring that government’s expenditure reflects government priorities, promotion of transparency and accountability in government expenditure and facilitation of monitoring, evaluation and performance assessment of government expenditures.
The training covered various aspects of MTSS which includes; conceptual framework of MTSS, review of high level poicy documents, sector situation analysis, introduction to strategy session; developing sector mission, vision, core values, objectives, programmes and outcomes, syndicate session and presentations, project development and prioritisation, cross cutting issues in MTSS development, introduction to projects and costing, Roles of SPT in MTSS process and MTSS documentation.
The stakeholders were taught the cardinals of MTSS to give them a clear understanding of government’s policies and goals as contained in the SDP, set medium term sector objectives broken down into programmes, link them to SDP and identify key projects that need to be executed to achieve sector objectives.
Speaking on the efforts of the government in establishing set medium term goals for the state, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development, Dr Lekan Yinusa, stated that the programme is designed as part of the comprehensive efforts at institutionalizing development programmes and project in Osun. “The whole essence is first to develop a long term plan for the state, meaning that in the next three years, what do you expect Osun to be and from this particular long term plan, we need to develop a sector strategy which will lead into actualizing some of the goals of our identified deliverables from the State Development Plan.
“We believe that if we develop a State Development Plan, we know it will be implemented by the sector champions and the sector champions are the one to develop the sector strategies. So we believe that it is pertinent for us to give the stakeholders the technical details of what they need to know on how to deliver the strategies that will be spelt out in the SDP. So following the retreat we held in January on envisioning the SDP, we planned a sector planning team training which is the one we are doing now to basically leverage on the experience that we have had at the state level in January and now bring all those things we said we will achieve down to the sectoral level,” he said.
According to him, the essence of the capacity building is that projects and programmes will be identified and cost put to it to form the basis upon which the state budget will be developed, adding that the advantage is that there will be a connection between policies and programmes and the budget being developed as when policies is not linked with sector strategies and budget, there will be a mismatch.
“That is what we are trying to do, to make sure that by the time our budget is prepared, it captures the overall intentions of government. And with this programme, that vision will be fulfilled because when you develop a plan, there is a need for you to have the required human resources to deliver the implementation. So it is one thing to have everything down, it is another thing to have the needed human resources to implement it because you must make sure the plan is not only accepted but implemented well and all stakeholders have the knowledge behind the content of the goal,” Dr Yinusa stated.
And as Osun matches forward towards an inclusive plan of development, stakeholders are already committed that the SDP works effectively.
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