Uche Usim, Abuja
For better tracking and management of government revenue, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force charged with the full implementation of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) in Abuja.
At the inauguration, the minister explained that the programme was developed by different government agencies essentially to boost transparency and enhance the effectiveness of government’s financial activities.
According to her, the inauguration also demonstrates government’s commitment in ensuring accountability and transparency in the armed forces and other paramilitary agencies.
The programme, she noted, was jointly developed by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Debt Management Office (DMO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in consultations with other relevant stakeholders.
‘You may recall that GIFMIS is part of Pillar 3 of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform aimed at making the Nigerian Public service world-class anchored on optimum service delivery to the citizenry.
‘The overall objective of government is to implement a computerized financial management information system for the FGN which is efficient, effective and increases the ability of federal government to undertake central control and monitoring of expenditure and receipts in the MDAS as well as Increase the ability to access information on financial and operational performance.
‘It also aims at increasing internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud, access to information on government’s cash position and improves medium-term planning through Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF),’ the minister explained.
She charged the task force to look into the concerns raised with regard to full GIFMIS implementation with the sole aim of addressing them to ensure the successful implementation of the system.
According to her, the concerns with regards to Military and the Intelligence Agencies covert operational expenses and other non-regular allowances for personnel and officers which are mainly cash-based.
The committee, which is expected to find solutions to the concerns raised, was given three weeks by the minister to conclude and submit their report.
The terms of reference for the Committee according to the minister include, “Review the application of GIFMIS in the Armed Forces for Budget Preparation and review the application of GIFMIS in the Armed Forces for Bottom-up Cash Planning.’
Others include reviewing the application of GIFMIS in the Armed Forces for Procurement and Commitment Management Process among others
In his remarks, the Accountant General of the federation, Ahmed Idris, said the GIFMIS serves as an integral item in Pillar 3 of National Asset in public service.
According to him, the system has been in place eight years ago, although it was not popular among MDAs, which is why his office is driving the process of managing government resources effectively.