The Presidency has reiterated 10 measures President Muhammadu Buhari introduced in his government to help fight corruption, and improve fiscal accountability and transparency without the direct involvement of anti-graft agencies.
These measures were highlighted on Thursday at the National Dialogue on Corruption summit organized in Abuja by the Presidential Action Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) in conjunction with the Office of the Vice-President.
They are as follows:
1. The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA):PICA was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to strengthen controls over Government finances through a continuous internal audit process across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), particularly in respect of payroll. Through the activities of PICA, a total of 53,000 erroneous payroll entries have been identified, with payroll savings of N198 billion achieved in 2016.
2. Budget Reforms: Instead of the traditional method of hard copy submissions of budget proposals, Ministries, Departments and Agencies were asked to upload their proposals to the new budget preparation portal. By replacing paper submissions with an audit-able and trackable online system, the 2017 budget preparation process was strengthened against manipulation and unauthorised alteration
3. Expansion of TSA Coverage: Aug 7, 2015, PMB issued Executive Order to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement Treasury Single Account (TSA) Policy. The TSA Policy has resulted in consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts and in average monthly savings of N4.7bn in banking charges.
4. Deployment of BVN for Payroll and Social Investment Programmes: The use of BVN to verify Federal Government payroll entries has so far led to the detection of 53,000 erroneous payroll entries.
5. Replacement of old Cash-Based Accounting System with an Accruals-Based System: Accruals-based accounting presents the true financial position of the Federal Governments assets and liabilities, which would help the Government plan future funding requirements for asset maintenance and replacement, and the repayment of existing and contingent liabilities and, thus, better manage their cash position and financing requirements.
6. Enlistment into Open Government Partnership (OGP): In July 2016, Nigeria became 70th country to join OGP and has gone on to develop a National Action Plan (2017–2019)
7. Insistence on Conditionality of Fiscal Support to States: The Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) is a reform programme that specifies conditions under which States can access federal government’s N510 billion Budget Support Facility (BSF). State Governments that fail to implement the FSP action plans, as stated, will be taken off the Budget Support Facility with immediate effect. The Fiscal Sustainability Plan is part of our reform of Public Financial Management Systems nationwide.
9. Asset Recovery Reforms: The Constitution of a Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery (PCAR), headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to bring together all law enforcement agencies involved in the recovery of assets; as well as designation of a dedicated Central Bank Account to receive all recovered funds, for coordination and transparency of management and oversight.
10. New Whistle-blowing Policy: The new Whistleblowing Policy introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance has already yielded about $160m and N8 billion in recoveries of stolen Government funds.
Former Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, has recounted the economic achievements of ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan in order to debunk the claims of the federal government indicting his former principal as being responsible for the current recession rocking the nation.
He said there was danger in peddling a single side of the story of how Nigeria’s recession started as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet; stressing that repeating a lie will make people start to assume it is true.
Abati stated this in Lagos while chatting with the media on the state of the economy.
He said that Jonathan’s administration rebased the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation and made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa.
He also said that in six months, the immediate past federal government attracted about N1.15 trillion in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the nation; hosted the first-ever World Economic Forum to be held in Africa as an endorsement of the work done on Nigeria’s economy; and revived the automotive industry and national railway; as well as grew agricultural sector to a robust stature.
The ex-spokesman further urged Nigerians to always double-check information peddled by the Buhari administration.
Abati said: “There is something about the danger of a single story. If you look at the Jonathan government, at the risk of defending that administration, under that administration the GDP was the rebased and Nigeria became the largest economy in Africa.
“As at 2014, Nigeria had become the number one Foreign Direct Investment destination in Africa. Within the first half of 2014, this economy has gained from FDI alone about N1.15 trillion. In fact, that same year, for the first time in Africa, the World Economic Forum held in Nigeria; which was a kind of endorsement of what was been done by that administration at that time.
“It was also under that administration that the auto motive industry was revived. It was under that administration that the national railway was revived. It was under that administration that the agricultural sector became very robust.