FG to audit all revenue generating agencies

FG to audit all revenue generating agencies
January 06 18:09 2016

The Federal Government has announced plan to audit all revenue generating agencies across the country.

Briefing State House correspondents after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun also disclosed that those agencies have been mandated to present their budget for approval.

“The principal discussion in our meeting today was the initiative by this administration to plug revenue leakages in our MDAs that generate revenue. The presentation to FEC was to remind ministers who supervise these revenue-generating boards of their responsibilities under the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Let me remind you that under FRA, these boards and corporations who generate our revenue are supposed to generate and operating surplus , 80 percent of which is to be credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but we have discovered that many agencies have never credited anything and never generated any operating surplus including some whose salaries, overheads, capital are paid by the federal government.

“Then in addition to that, they generate revenue which they spend without any form of control. So one of the big initiatives and changes of this administration is to bring all those agencies into line; to insist that they must submit a budget, that budget must be subject to approval and they must operate within that budget so that the surplus that is meant to come to the federal government can be seen to be used as appropriate,” she said.

On the order for those agencies, including NNPC, NIMASA and several others, to submit their budgets for approval, she said: “We had issued a circular in December requesting that they send us their budget and what we discussed today was the responsibility of the ministers to ensure that whether those agencies have boards or not, those budgets are prepared that the Ministry of Finance is going to sit down with the supervising ministers and with the boards concerned, where necessary, to go through their budgets and make sure that they are reasonable, that the costs are not inflated.

We also discussed that in some cases, because some agencies have a track record and history of making sure that every Naira they earned is spent, that we will go in and audit agencies under Section 107 (8) of the Financial Regulations. The Accountant-General, who is under the Ministry of Finance has the powers to go in and make inquiries about how public money is spent. So, we will be sending in auditors to some agencies where we believe everything that their cost is simply excessive and not in keeping with our expectations.

The expected outcome of this is that there will be that internally generated revenue (IGR) which the new budget is banking on to actually become a reality.”

On some agencies collecting revenues in foreign currencies and remitting same into government coffers in Naira, Adeosun said “We have done a comprehensive audit of all the agencies that actually collect money in foreign currency and remit in Naira, the requirement is that such monies should go to CBN, which should exchange the money into Naira.

She continued: “What we discovered in some agencies, we have stopped it; but we are now doing an audit to identify other agencies. But one thing we have identified is that the agency concerned was NIMASA; but we discovered that there are other agencies we have not identified, who also collect funds in foreign currencies, including our foreign missions. So, we are doing a full audit of all those accounts and to ensure that all those revenues now are converted in accordance with the extant procedures and guidelines.”

She added that any head of agency found culpable after the audit would be punished according to the laws of the land.