By Joshua Elekwaci, Abuja
The Federal Government Owned Entities (FGOEs) have been identified as an important sector with huge potentials of revenue generation.
The analysis of the revenue and expenditure profile of some of the FGOEs shows that they have the capacities for improved revenue performance, according to Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
In her Keynote Address as Special Guest of Honour to declare open Special Orientation Workshop for Directors of Revenue In The Light of Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives of The FG in Abuja, Ahmed said, “A recent study of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed that the combined expenditures of the FGOEs exceed the Federal Budget.
“It is in this light that the deployment of the treasury directors is considered expedient to selected FGOEs which will run as a pilot basis.”
According to her, the deployment of directors of revenue to the FGOEs is in compliance with Presidential approval that was conveyed via Secretary To the Government of The Federation’s (SGF’s) circular reference SGF.50/S.3/C.9/24 dated 16t October, 2018 on the approved revenue performance management framework for FGOEs.
“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 in procurement and expenditures payments,” she said.
Ahmed also said that the directors of revenue, in the course of the discharge of their functions, shall be involved in the revenue operations of the FGOEs, have 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, she said further, expected to seek for opportunities and avenues for revenue improvements which is the ultimate aim of the government.
Speaking further, she said: “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 (IRMS) is being put in place to help the monitoring of the revenues of the FGOEs online real-time and to ensure improved transparency and accountability.”
Ahmed stated: “As professional treasury officers, you are the drivers of implementation of government policies. There is the need to continually evolve new ideas and be an effective and efficient bridge between the government and the citizenry. To ensure the success of this strategic initiative, it is important that we take the ownership of it. It is hoped that this will eventually promote and enhance service delivery.
“This will also enhance the legal frameworks and provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA); understanding of the peculiarities of the FGOE’s revenue generating types; understanding the sources of federal account revenue, federal government independence revenue and your role and the role of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) in revenue matters.
“Taking the ownership of the strategic initiative will also aid the following: Revenue budgeting and collections procedure; opening and maintenance of new books, receipts and journals, among others.”
In his Welcome Address, the Accountant-General of The Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, the vision of the initiative is to achieve transparency and accountability of government revenue with special focus on FGOEs, improved revenue performance and ultimately to provide sustainable source of funding for government budget execution.
He, therefore, urged the directors selected for the orientation to participate actively, “and hope that your passion and energy will be directed towards finding sustainable solution to the dwindling revenue profile the country is facing. At the point we are today, we all need to think outside the box and come up with implementation strategies that will have positive impact in transforming our non-oil revenue sources of financing the budget.
“On your part as ambassadors of the treasury in the FGOEs, it is expected that you demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and integrity in the discharge of this onerous task, consistent with the highest standard of service delivery,” he urged.