The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has cautioned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to take into cognizance the current financial priorities of the nation and cut their costs, eliminate wastages and block revenue leakages.
Adeosun explained that many agencies were engaged in quasi commercial activities on behalf of government and were therefore expected to manage those organisations in a manner that maximized operating surplus.
The minister gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday while addressing a one-day workshop for heads of Public Revenue Generating Agencies (PRGA) on “Compliance with Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (As Amended) and Presidential Executive Order No.002 of 18th May, 2017.
The minister also warned heads of agencies that under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, ‘Every Naira Counts’ adding that “whether funds were generated from oil or from fees the same standard of accountability for public money would apply.”
She noted that in other countries like United Kingdom and the United States of America, government functions such as VISA processing, Passport issuance, Company Registration and regulation were major revenue earners.
But in Nigeria, she said many agencies were operating in such a manner that returned minimal funds to government.
Adeosun attributed the cause of dwindling revenue to wastage, illegal recruitments, bloated expenses, loans to staff and use of expensive consultants.
The Minister reminded Agencies that a Circular had been issued which restricted allowable expenses in line with reforms occurring across Government businesses. She further informed agencies that compliance checks would be undertaken regularly to ensure that all agencies adhere to the new requirements.
She also commended the following agencies Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which had remitted over N5billion and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) which has significantly improved its remittance for improved revenue remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
She encouraged other agencies to urgently review their operational cost and revenue with a view to increase remittances to Government coffers. She informed the participants that the Ministry of Finance planned to publish the performance of agencies.
The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, also advised the Agencies to use Professional Treasury Officers in accounting proceedings to ensure efficiency in line with International Public Sector Accounting.
Former Accountant General of the Federation, Chief Kayode Naiyeju, also encouraged heads of agencies to look inward and be more creative in generating revenue for the government.