• Deploys directors to money-making agencies

BY COBHAM NSA – In a move aimed at addressing concerns over dwindling revenues and heavy debt burden, the Federal Government is taking over control of revenue management in 10 of its money-making agencies and parastatals.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said government is resolute and committed to robust initiatives that will directly boost its resources for effective performance and service delivery to Nigerians.

The 10 Government-Owned Enterprises (GOE) covered in the pilot phase of the programme include: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Others on the lucrative list are: Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

The Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, who spoke during a three-day orientation programme for 50 directors of revenue slated for posting to various GOEs in Abuja, said the decision was informed by the need to improve revenue collection by government agencies.

She explained that the initiative was in compliance with Presidential approval conveyed via SGF’s circular reference SGF.50/S.3/C.9/24 dated October 16, 2018 on the approved Revenue Performance Management Framework for Government Owned Enterprises (FGOEs).

“Government is increasingly concerned with the dwindling profile of Revenue and this trend has to be quickly arrested particularly with Key revenue generating agencies of the Government.

“It is my considered opinion that the presence of Directors of Revenue at the FGOEs will ensure strict adherence to extant rules and regulations in the areas of compliance to approved budget and due process mechanism in procurement and payments”, she said.

According to her, “The Directors of Revenue, in the course of the discharge of their functions, shall be involved in the revenue operations of the FGOEs, have a better understanding of business processes and operations of the FGOEs and cause improved transparency and accountability in revenue reporting by the FGOEs.

“In addition, they are expected to seek opportunities and avenues for revenue improvements which are the ultimate aim of the Government.”

The Minister further stated thus: “I am pleased to inform you that the discharge of these duties will be aided with the deployment of Information Technology.

“The Integrated Revenue Monitoring System is being put in place to help the monitoring of the revenues of the FGOEs online real-time and to ensure its improved transparency and accountability.”

The Minister, while describing the training as an orientation for those pencilled down as Directors of Revenues, expressed the hope that it will empower them to discharge effectively and efficiently their responsibilities in utmost good faith.

In his remark at the event, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustafa said the decision to boost government’s revenue base involves posting Professional Treasury Officers to select FGOEs and will among other things enable the Treasury to have a better understanding of the business processes and operations of the FGOEs.

“This will help in the review of the current systems, policies and procedures in revenue administration and management.

He said the policy reform initiative is meant to generate more revenue and associated remittance into government treasury as well as improve the operational performance of all GOEs.

The SGF said government is seriously addressing issues relating to a situation where a number of GOEs remit less operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund than is required by law and/or Financial Regulations.

Similarly, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris said the initiative is to achieve transparency and accountability of government revenue with special focus on FGOEs.

He further said the policy vision aims at improving revenue performance and ultimately provide a sustainable source of funding for government budget execution.

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