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Niger : Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review

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Washington, DC
Africa | Niger
2013-07-23T14:45:57Z | 2013-07-23T14:45:57Z | 2004-12

The Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review (PEMFAR) analyzes Niger's public expenditures in the four priority sectors, as identified by the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) - education, health, rural development, and roads. The findings of the PEMFAR can be summarized as follows. Major efforts are still required to improve the quality of teaching, reduce inequalities between rural and urban areas, and correct gender imbalances. The Government also needs to develop a global education strategy covering primary, secondary, higher education, and vocational training. The health sector continues to face complex policy and managerial issues. The Government should improve access to, and utilization of basic health services, and, address behavioral and living conditions issues, including access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The rural development sector, which is managed by four ministries and includes a multitude of externally-financed projects, faces formidable challenges: a) increasing productivity by modernizing traditional cultivation and cattle-raising practices; b) expanding irrigation to reduce vulnerability to erratic rainfall; and, c) creating an environment conducive to sustainable development. The Government needs to expand cooperation in rural development with stakeholders and development partners. Despite considerable resources invested to create a national road network, inadequate funding maintenance conduced to serious degradation of the road network. A revision of the priorities of transport sector programs, in particular of recurrent ratio to investment expenditures, and, agree on an effective road maintenance funding mechanism. It is recommended to broaden the tax base with the least impact on the poor; improve budgeting, making it both more realistic and conservative; strengthen the cash management system, and increase transparency to better manage severe liquidity problems; strictly limit foreign borrowing in volume, with only contract loans on highly concessional terms, and strengthen coordination of development assistance. In several high-priority sectors, more external funding for recurrent costs would help improve the efficiency of the public expenditures program.

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