FG APPROVES NEW REPORTING TEMPLATE FOR REVENUE-GENERATING AGENCIES
The Federal Government has approved a new reporting template that will guide the process of accounting for revenue of agencies of government. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the approval was given by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had in July last year directed the immediate past Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu; the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, and the Revenue Allocation, Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission to carry out a comprehensive review of the reporting template of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The President’s directive for a review of the reporting template was as a result of the stand-off between members of FAAC, made up of commissioners of finance from the 36 states, and the NNPC over revenue underpayment.
Last year, FAAC meeting, which is where statutory revenues generated by revenue agencies of government are considered, ended in a deadlock on four different occasions. Both the Federal Government and the States had agreed that the reporting template between the NNPC and the federation account was not fit for purpose as it was not providing the right level of assurance around the revenue figures.
But speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a workshop on revenue generation, accounting and reporting to FAAC, the finance minister said the revenue reporting framework was targeted at generating more revenue and improving operational performance.
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 sometimes and I strongly supported members’ demand for a revised template that would provide in 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.” Ahmed said the workshop should not only concentrate on the template but also be used to enlighten members as to the dangers of depending on oil in the face of 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, Idris said the issue of revenue generation and reporting was of great concern to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
He said, “This workshop will extensively dwell on the new template, as understanding the numbers presented at FAAC is very germane and has the potential 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.”
Idris 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.
He added that financial circulars on limit of allowable expenses, 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’s capital budgets to ensure 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 year, adding that quarterly remittance of interim operating surplus of government-owned enterprises would replace the annual remittance.
He added that legislative action would also be required to amend relevant sections of the Act establishing some of the GOEs to reflect current economic realities and policy thrust of government.