By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA— The Federal Government has launched an Asset Tracking and Management Project, ATMProject, through which it would locate, assess and evaluate all its moveable and immoveable assets, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has announced.
She also said a Central Asset Register would be created and domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance for recording the actual quantity, value, condition and location of all the capital assets owned by the Federal Government.
“For the first time since independence, a central and unified national database of assets would be generated and maintained for the purpose of recording, tracking and managing the huge investments in capital assets used by government for the delivery of goods and services to the citizenry,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Director of Information, Mr. Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday.
Mrs Adeosun said the initiative was designed to enhance accountability, promote transparency and deepen efficiency in line with the change agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The asset tracking exercise and register would also make planning and control easier,’’ she added.
According to her, the Asset Register will enable the government to know and monitor, real time, online information on the inventory of government assets.
She explained that implementing the Asset Tracking and Management Project and the Asset Register would complete Nigeria’s full adoption and migration to accrual-based accounting system, and give the government the ability to prepare financial statements as required under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards, IPSAS, by first determining and quantifying our fixed assets.
Consequently, the minister has issued a circular to all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, requesting their accounting officers to prepare an inventory of all fixed assets held as at 31st December 2016, to facilitate physical verification by the project team.
The circular further requested all heads of MDAs to ensure that all assets held by current and former staff were fully accounted for.
“In this regard, you may find it necessary to contact any former staff and /or political office holders to avail them the opportunity to return relevant assets in their possession.
“All inventory records submitted will be cross-checked to capital releases and project account purchases to ensure completeness.
‘’ Where assets have been sold or otherwise disposed of, they must be recorded with supporting authorization for sale and evidence of payment, where applicable,” the circular read.
It drew the attention of heads of MDAs to chapter 26 of the Financial Regulations, with regards to disposals of assets and warned that “any asset not accessible for physical inspection and not disposed of in accordance with financial requirements will be deemed to have been illegally withheld or converted.