Any agency of government that rejects accounting officers posted to it from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation risks being shut out from the payment platform.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, issued the threat in Abuja to Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs), of government when he received the management team of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, led by the Acting Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive, Dr. Aliyu Adanan.
Idris wondered why some agencies that relied on the Accountant-General of the Federation for releases of funds to implement their plans and programmes would, in turn, reject treasury officers sent to effectively assist in managing their finances.
He warned the MDAs that are in the habit of rejecting treasury officers posted to them to either desist from such or be ready to face the consequences of their action.
He said, “The office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has been vested with the mandate of handling all payments and receipts on behalf of the government.
“It should be noted that Treasury Staff have been specially trained and equipped to perform these functions in MDAs in line with Financial Regulations and extant rules.
“The principle of transparency and accountability, which this administration stands for, must be seen in practical terms and in line with international best practices.
“Accordingly, these principles do not allow one to be a judge in his own case.
“It is the role of Treasury officers to manage the Finance and Accounts Departments as well as the Internal Audit Units in MDAs.
“As long as you receive public funds from government, you must allow the Treasury Officers to manage operations of the system and application of the funds.”
Idris, while explaining that the ability of an internal auditor to perform his function is predicated on his professional independence, said “the Auditor cannot be said to be independent when he is employed by and paid by the same organisation, and this leads to compromise”.