Uche Usim, Abuja
In its quest to boost revenue generation and operational efficiency, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday, announced government’s plans to create additional departments across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria, saddled with the realization of the objective.
Also on the cards is an initiative to thoroughly restructure the accounting systems in all MDAs, to ensure uniformity and standardization of the budget and accounting functions in order to enhance transparency and accountability in public finance management.
The Minister made the disclosure in Abuja at a two- day sensitization workshop organised by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation on the New Restructured Finance and Accounts Department of MDAs.
According to her, “The restructuring of the F$A is very timely and in tandem with the Public Finance Management Reforms of the Federal Government that will enhance transparency and accountability in the discharge of government finances.
“Change is going on in the nation’s accounting system and it is going to go across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The functions have been redefined, there will be additional departments in each of these Ministries.
There are new functions that are directly charged with revenue enhancement and controls.
As we know, we have said several times that one of our weakest points is the level of revenue collection so this restructuring will enhance revenue controls.
“The purpose of this restructuring is to enhance control and also improve efficiency, transparency and accountability”, Ahmed explained.
The Minister further stated that the current administration was still firmly standing by its objective to shun any form of corrupt practices, adding “we know the President’s commitment to fighting corruption and wherever there is corruption, there is an accountant in that value chain. So we all have the responsibility to make things right”.
In his remarks at the event, the AGF, Ahmed Idris said government’s vision for the restructured finance and accounts department was to ensure standardization and uniformity of the budget and accounting functions to enhance accountability and transparency in public finance management in the federal service.
He said: “I want to assure you that the OAGF under our leadership shall continue to provide the enabling environment for more ideas to transform the treasury in line with global best practices.
It is in this direction that we are currently reviewing the Financial Regulations, that was last reviewed in 2009 to be in tandem with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Reforms”.
Also speaking at the occasion, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-ita, who was represented by Permenent Secretry Service Welfare, Mrs. Didi Wackson said
“ let me commend the the Accountant-General of the Federation for not only securing approval for restructuring of the Finance and Accounts Department, but also for the implementation of the Public Finance and Accounts Management Reforms.
The office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is willing to partner with professional offices and agencies on issues that would improve the service and increase capacity of civil Servants”.