Adeosun: Buhari government moves to block revenue leakage

Adeosun: Buhari government moves to block revenue leakage

Thursday, January 7, 2016 12:06 am

Adeosun:  Minister of Finance

Adeosun: Minister of Finance

Nigeria’s cabinet, the Federal Executive Council first meeting for 2016 held on Wednesday was devoted to discussions on how rake in more revenue from government departments, agencies and parastatals to fund the 2016 N6.08 trillion Appropriation Bill, Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria minister of finance told journalists.

“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 Fiscal Responsibility Act, these boards and corporations who generate poor revenue are supposed to generate and operate surplus, 80 percent of which is to be credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund,” said the Minister who added that it has been discovered that many agencies have never credited anything to national purse as operating surplus even when their salaries, overheads, capital is paid by the federal government.
She added that such agencies are in the habit of spending money haphazardly. This, she said has to change.
“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 and 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,”  Adeosun said.
“We are reining them in and making sure that the money generated for all Nigerians is spent according to approval and any surplus then comes into the CRF to be used to fund other areas of government.
In addition, ministers had been tasked with the job of ensuring that budgets of departments and agencies under their supervision 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,” she said.
Adeosun said ministers and heads of agencies would defend their budgetary allocations with possible amendments while the administration would not condone padding of budgetary allocations. She however denied allegations that the 2016 Budget has  been withdrawn from the National Assembly.
“Let me just speak to you about the budget process. You know the budget is presented to the NASS and then there is what we call an interactive budget approval process and you know the agencies will still go and defend their budget at the NASS.
 “But let me make it very clear the budget is not being withdrawn or replaced, the budget has been presented and will go through normal process whereby MDAs defend their budgets.
“It is possible in the process of that, because as you know the legislature is not a rubber stamp, their job is to scrutinize the budget and to approve that budget. So there may be some changes that occur as a result of that interactive process. But that process is normal everywhere in the world where a budget is presented. So I think it is important to make that clarification,” said Adeosun

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