Shutdown of GIFMIS platforms, crippling governance, increasing hardship – LP Reps Caucus Leader

From Lateef Taiwo

Leader of the Labour Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, has raised the alarm over what he described as “cloud of confusion and rudderlessness in the management of government finances arising from the abrupt shutdown of the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS) platforms for all government agencies, leaving them in a state of operational incapacitation.

The Labour leader in a statement issued in his personal capacity, lamented that this singular decision has brought governance to a standstill, plunging the government’s financial management into a self-inflicted state of paralysis, crippling its ability to function effectively.

He said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday July 2, 2024, that “the shutdown of the GIFMIS platforms since over a month impacted both the capital and overhead components of the agencies, leaving them stranded and unable to perform their functions as mandated. This disruption has significantly hindered their ability to operate effectively.”

He urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Chief Wale Edun, to promptly intervene and resolve this avoidable crisis, which may be linked to the challenges arising from the concurrent implementation of multiple federal budgets, and thereby restore order and stability to the nation’s financial management.

The GIFMIS implementation was adopted in 2012 to enable the Federal Government of Nigeria process financial transactions faster and at a much lower cost. It was also meant to improve the reliability of management information and increase the speed at which decisions are taken and services delivered to the general public.

He dismissed the excuse that the platform is being updated, stating that the rationale lacks merit, as the detrimental consequences of the shutdown clearly indicate a lack of thorough consideration and planning in the decision-making process.

According to Hon. Ogene, many Nigerians have raised concerns over the Nigerian government’s implementation of four national budgets concurrently, which they argued is in blatant disregard of fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability.

“While I don’t have much issues with multiple budgets – especially as I’m a member of the National Assembly that approved the budgets – there remain fundamental fears as recently raised by BUDGIT, that the revenues projected for 2024 will likely be spread thin across four different budgets, resulting in inadequate funding for critical social sectors and essential public infrastructure. This will have a devastating impact on service delivery and hinder the provision of basic public services.”

He said further: “Information at my disposal indicate that service delivery in government agencies is increasingly nosediving as many of them cannot even meet their own basic needs in their daily operations, such as even paying for electricity units in their offices or diesel, since the GIFMIS platforms were shut over a month ago. Then, what manner of service delivery do you expect from such agencies?

“President Tinubu and the Finance Minister must urgently address this escalating financial crisis, which is inflicting immense hardship on the citizens. They must take immediate action to rectify the situation, shake off governmental complacency, and alleviate the suffering of the people, who are bearing the brunt of economic mismanagement in the name of democracy.”


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