By Mary Agidi
The State Integrated Management Financial Information Systems, SIFMIS, a component of Ondo State Public Sector Governance Reforms Project is set to commence operation in all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the government.
To this end, a week-long roadshow tagged ” SIFMIS GO LIVE” to create awareness of the new development has kicked-off through the office of the State Public Sector Governance Reforms Project, ODPSGRDP.
Declaring the SIFMIS GO LIVE roadshow open, Ondo State Head of Service, HoS, Bar. Toyin Akinkuotu described SIFMIS as all about accountability, diligence, honesty, consistency, and hardworking.
“It means running financial management system of government in line with due process, accountability, in line with transparency, for example, as Head of Service I can know what is happening in BIR or Accountant General’s office.”
He advised civil servants to key in to the process, as he stressed that everybody must be literate enough to operate within the environment of SIFMIS.
The HoS charged the focal officers to spread the gospel to all that matters in the state while describing the roadshow as a very historic day in the history of the Public Sector Governance Reform Programme in the state.
Akinkuotu thanked the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for personally giving SIFMIS programme a push in the state.
” Before he came on board as the governor of the state even though SIFMIS has been there since 2009, little has been heard about it but since February, all of us know that it has come alive”, He noted.
The State Accountant-General Mr. Laolu Akindolire who doubles as the Chairman of the project implementation team said SIFMIS is a programme being supported by the World Bank for the automation of financial management system of the State.
He described it as being about automation of the process of payroll, from budget to expenditure, and from expenditure to financial reporting.
His words: “It will reduce the processing time of payment because everything will be automated, man hours will be reduced to the barest minimum. It’s a multimillion naira project, certainly not less than a billion naira project, which is being financed by the World Bank.
“The financial statements of the state government will be automated, the reporting is generated automatically because it has already been integrated. Our staff have gone through capacity building, they have undergone a lot of intensive ICT trainings, we are all prepared for the automation”.
Akindolire therefore advised civil servants to be ICT compliant in order to be able to move with the trend.
Earlier, the SIFMIS programme Manager in the state Mr. Bode Ajigbolamu explained that the component means governance through technology.
He noted further that the process entails making all business processes of government that have been manual to be automated.
“The State is not new to automation, only that the various ones we have are stand alone automation, for example the Remitta is a stand alone system. We have been doing e-budgeting for quite long, they are stand-alone technology but now everything is now integrated”, he stated.
Speaking on the rationale behind the roadshow, Ajigbolamu noted that it is to abreast people of the new development so that the process won’t be strange to them and to guide against possible challenges that may arise.
According to him, operation SIFMIS will help increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR by blocking financial loopholes in tax collection processes.
The SIFMIS Chain Manager representing the Consultant in charge of the project, Mr. Akeem Alimi noted that the process is in place to promote transparency in governance.
“It is about availability of information , people need information at the tip of their finger to deliver the promise and take good decisions.
“We started this journey over six months ago and today we are talking of GO LIVE, changing from the project mode to operation mode.
The road show which kicked- off from the office of the State Head of Service will hold for a week and covered all the government’s MDAs.