…seeks review of Weak Finance Control Act
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has charged Treasury managers to ensure transparency and accountability in the management and control of the country’s public finance.
A statement by the minister’s Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Oluyinka Akintunde, quoted her as giving the charge at the second National Treasury Workshop held in Tinapa, Cross River State.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Special Projects of her ministry, Dr. Mohammed K. Dikwa, harped on 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 the 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”, the minister added.
Also, Adeosun canvassed the need to review the Finance Control and Management Act of 1958, noting that the law has become obsolete 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 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 present administration for the purposes of creating a solid foundation for long-term economic growth of the country, adding that the emphasis of the Plan is on local content business empowerment.
“The ERGP has been further designed to build competitive market, invest in infrastructure and human resources as well as harmonize monetary, trade and fiscal policies for the purposes of boosting non-oil revenue, reduction in cost of governance, privatization of selected public enterprises/assets, delivery on agriculture and transportation, among others,” Adeosun stated.
The minister recalled that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, had embarked upon a number of financial reform initiatives with a review to strengthening governance, accountability, reduce corruption and deliver service more effectively.
She listed some of the initiatives introduced by the Government to include: full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), Revenue Boosting Initiatives, Fiscal Sustainability Plan, Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Whistleblower Policy, Cash Management, Efficiency Unit, Healthpay Project, Family Homes Project, Asset Tracing Team, and Road Trust Fund, among others.
Earlier in his address at the workshop, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, had urged public financial managers to come up with innovative ideas to address some of the challenges facing the Treasury and economy.
Idris said: “I will advise our public financial managers to see the current challenges facing the treasury and the economy as an opportunity to spur them to form a united front that will generate great ideas resulting in the provision of lasting solutions to the problems.”
The workshop was attended by Directors of Finance and Accounts in all Federal and State Governments’ Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Heads of Finance and Directors of Internal Audit and other stakeholders in national public finance management.