BY GLORIA USMAN, ABUJA – The Federal Government on Monday launched financial transparency policy/open-treasury portal in Abuja as part if its anti-corruption war in the polity.
The initiative aims at ensuring transparency in government, as well as curbing corruption in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
President Muhammad u Buhari, who spoke while unveiling the portal in Abuja, said Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has been mandated to issue a daily treasury statement of government’s transactions.
Represented by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, President Buhari explained that the Treasury statement will provide information and update about what comes in and out of the national purse.
He expressed optimistic that the platform launch would further strengthen government’s drive towards curbing corruption through transparency and accountability.
The President said there was already a template on how the portal would work and outlined expectations from the OAGF Office and other key agencies.
The treasury statement is expected to encompass all inflows and outflows of transactions in all respective MDAs of the government.
According to the President, “The government is committed to full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 so that government-held datasets can be availed and used by the media and the public at large. All MDAs are required to promptly respond to additional requests for information beyond what is published”.
“We must include the MDA responsible, the beneficiary, the purpose and amount of each payment. Accounting Officers are responsible for providing answers to any questions from the public relating to transactions completed by entities under their charge”.
In addition, “all MDAS must publish Monthly Budget Performance Reports. These reports must include the performance of the budget by various dimensions including MDAs, functions and economic activities performed by all Federal Government Agencies. These reports must be ready within seven (7) days after the end of the month”, President Buhari said
He also directed the AGF to “publish monthly Fiscal Accounts detailing the fiscal performance of the federation including receipts from all the collection agencies and payments out of the Federation Account. This must be done within 14 days after the end of the month”.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed told the gathering that over 800 MDAs have keyed into the government’s integrated financial management information system.
She also used the occasion to explain how the government worked to achieve this milestones as well as the latest initiative moves at checking the menace of corruption within the government.
“www.opentreasury.gov.ngwas opened yesterday for all MDAs to publish all the information required by the policy and for immediate access by all Nigerians