Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government is set review the expenditure plans of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in its bid to urgently improve their level of accountability and enhance performance.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday while reeling out the scorecard of the Ministry since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The planned expenditure review is consistent with recent displeasure expressed by the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, who lamented MDAs’ continued revenue underperformance, especially after over N40 trillion has been disbursed to them.
According to the Minister, the review of Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) spending plans was being backed by a more proactive revenue tracking and monitoring mechanism.
She said a committee has been working expeditiously to reconcile revenue data from 1999 and will be reviewing government’s revenue performance on a monthly basis.
“This data will be useful in tracking the historical trends and in setting straight targets to drive the performance of key revenue generating entities.
“We will continue to invest in the capacity building of the financial system (in terms of tools, people and skills) so that we can optimally manage the finances of this country from both revenue and expenditure perspectives”, Ahmed said.
The Minister also said plans were afoot to ensure total digitalisation of all revenue collection and remittance processes.
“The tax initiatives spearheaded by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) include the automation of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection at source in some key sectors.
“In view of this, I am prioritising revenue generation and as a result, steering my team to implement some revenue growth strategies that aims to boost revenue performance by deploying the following initiatives among others.
“To take advantage of innovative technologies, we plan to leverage data, technological tools and platforms to foster collaboration, grow the revenue base and improve collections. Given the span of stakeholders that form our port community and for the sake of improving Ease of Doing Business, we plan to deploy a national single window/trade platform that we expect to enhance Customs collections to about 90 per cent over a few years”, she added.