Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Leakages: Buhari Tightens Noose Around MDAs

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday continued with efforts aimed at plugging revenue leakages in the system with a mandate to all ministers to keep all Ministries, Departments and Agencies under them under close monitoring.

He asked the ministers to be mindful of their responsibilities as enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act and keep the MDAs under check.

Buhari handed down the directive to the ministers at the first meeting of the Federal Executive Council for the year held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which lasted about an hour.

Adeosun said the Federal Government had discovered that many revenue-generating agencies have not be remitting the revenues generated to government’s coffers.

She added that it was also discovered that some of the agencies spend government money without control.

She said, “The principal discussion in our meeting today was the initiative by this administration to plug revenue leakages in our MDAs that generate revenue. The presentation to FEC was to remind ministers who supervise these revenue-generating boards of their responsibilities under the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

“Let me remind you that under FRA, these boards and corporations who generate revenue are supposed to generate and operate surplus, 80 percent of which is to be credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“But we have discovered that many agencies have never credited anything and never generated any operating surplus including some whose salaries, overheads, capital are paid by the Federal  Government.

“In addition to that, they generate revenue which they spend without any form of control.”

Adeosun said one of the initiatives adopted by the government was the directive to all the agencies that they must all submit budget that must be subject to approval and they must operate within that  budget so that the surplus that is meant to come to the Federal Government can be seen to be used as appropriate.

She explained that these are revenues of government in non-oil economies but the government had not been looking in the direction of the MDAs in the past because the country had oil.

She disclosed that a circular had been issued to the agencies in their hundreds in December 2015 requesting that they send their budget.