Uche Usim, Abuja
To plug leakages and concomitant fraud associated with revenue generating Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Federal Government on Tuesday said it has approved a new reporting template that would guide them in thoroughly and transparently accounting for the funds they generate and remit.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who made the disclosure in Abuja at a workshop on revenue generation, accounting and reporting to the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) said the approval was given by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to her, days of opaque fund generation and remittances and were over as the government was making sufficient investments in technology that would remarkably ease revenue generation, collection and remittance and ultimately improve what comes into government’s coffers.
She said while the National Economic Council had in the past called for a review of the template, the President decided to grant that request through the approval of a new template.
She said: “The reporting template had been an issue for quite some time and I strongly supported members’ demand for a revised template that would provide in a transparent manner on revenue generation.
“The demand of members was further reinforced by the request of NEC for a review and Mr President’s directives for a new template that would clearly report the revenue in a transparent and customer friendly manner.
“The template had been produced and approved for use by the President.”
She said the workshop should not only concentrate on the template but also be used to enlighten members as to the dancers of depending on oil in the face of a downward trend in revenue generation.
The Minister called on the revenue generating agencies to double their efforts towards surpassing their previous records.
Also speaking at the event, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris emphasized that the issue of revenue generation and reporting was of great concern to the government.
“This workshop will extensively dwell on the new template, as understanding the numbers presented at FAAC is very germane and has the potentials of limiting the previous time expended at each sitting.
“I wish to use this opportunity, where all the major revenue generating agencies are gathered to inform you that Mr. President has approved a new and improved performance management framework for Government Owned Enterprises.”
He said based on the performance management framework approved by the President, the OAGF would carry out regular monitoring and ensure monthly publication of revenue and expenditure performance.
Idris explained that legislative action would also be required to amend relevant sections of the Acts establishing some of the GOEs to reflect current economic realities and policy thrust of government. He added that financial circulars on limit of allowable expenses, the frequency of board meetings, overseas travels and other potentially wasteful practices would be strictly enforced.
He said annual capital budgets of government agencies would be mainstreamed into the Federal Government capital budgets to ensure the same level of scrutiny.
He said henceforth, the accounts of all agencies of government must be audited within four months after the end of each financial years, adding that quarterly remittance of an interim operating surplus of government-Owned Enterprises would replace the annual remittance format.