Uche Usim, Abuja
Nigeria has saved over N500 billion by adopting various ICT-driven reforms in Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that sealed hitherto revenue-leaking points.
The Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance,
Dr. Mohammed Dikwa, made the disclosure in Abuja when the alumni of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Abuja chapter, visited him in his office.
According to him, most of the achievements were recorded under his leadership at the Presidential Initiative for Continuous Audit (PICA)
He hailed NIPSS for providing him the knowledge with which he deployed at PICA.
He said: “if the initiative was not in place, the N500bn saved by the government would have been spent by MDAs. “If you recall, over the last four years, this administration has put in place a lot of policies on ground and I am part of the financial policies put in place at the Ministry of Finance.
“I headed most of the reforms at the Ministry of Finance for the past four years. There are tangible results we have got over the years.
“One of the fundamental achievements was saving the government over N500bn from leakages and wastages under my leadership at PICA.
“If the initiative was not in place, this amount of money we are talking about would have been spent by MDAs.
“It was because of this initiative that was put in place that we were able to save that money from treasury looters.”
He added that the primary focus of PICA was to put internal control systems in place to check profligate spending of government revenue by MDAs.
He said through the initiative, the ministry has been able to maximize the utilization of the resources of government through continuous audit, adding that this had helped to improve accountability of government revenue.
Dikwa added, “we have also put in place so many other measures like the Whistle-blowing Policy. When we came up with the policy, an average of 11,000 tips were received on a monthly basis, but now, we hardly receive 20 to 30 tips simply because people have reduced the wrongdoing in government.
“Before, funds are released to MDAs for specific purpose, but before you know, the money would be diverted into other things, and nobody knows.
“The external auditors will not know, so we came in between the external and internal audit to ensure that the money that is being released into MDAs are spent for that purpose, and we held all the account officers accountable for every kobo released to them.”
Earlier, the Head of the delegation, Dr. Mobolaji Olowo said, the team decided to visit Dikwa who is a member of the Alumni to congratulate him on his appointment as a Permanent Secretary.