…Seeks review of Act
From Uche Usim, Abuja
For better management and control of public finance, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has challenged treasury managers to operate within the confines of transparency and accountability at all times.
She gave the advice at the second National Treasury Workshop held in Tinapa, Cross River State, at the weekend.
The workshop was attended by Directors of Finance and Accounts in all federal and state governments’ Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Heads of Finance and Directors of Internal Audit and other stakeholders in national public finance management. The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Special Projects in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Dikwa, emphasised the need for a change in the mindset of treasury managers in order to reform the basic polity. She said, “the basic and fundamental approach to financial and economic reforms is to reform the basic polity. Reforms must be impacting and sustainable and should fit into the cultural ethos of Nigeria, among others.
“There is need to evolve a culture, which is value-based. It is expected that this workshop would draw from universal public values such as public trust, accountability, equity, transparency, ethical standard and selflessness,” she said.
Adeosun called for a review of the Finance Control and Management Act of 1958, noting that the law was outdated and weak in instituting greater accountability and transparency in the conduct of government financial businesses
The Finance Control and Management Act provides detailed guidelines on control and management of the public finance of the country.
The Minister tasked the nation’s treasury managers to critically examine the Finance Control and Management Act and other related financial issues with a view to addressing some of the inherent deficiencies in the provisions.
On the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), she explained that it was conceived by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration towards laying a solid foundation for long-term economic growth. She added that the emphasis of ERGP was on local content business empowerment.
“The ERGP has been further designed to build competitive market, invest in infrastructure and human resources as well as harmonise monetary, trade and fiscal policies for the purposes of boosting non-oil revenue, reduction in cost of governance, privatisation of selected public enterprises/assets, delivery on agriculture and transportation, among others,” the Minister stated.
Adeosun recalled that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, had embarked upon a number of financial reforms with a view to strengthening governance, accountability, reduce corruption and deliver service more effectively.