Uche Usim, Abuja
The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has faulted several government agencies’ reluctance to remit their operating surplus into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The acting Chairman of the Commission, Victor Muruako, who made the observation recently at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja said the culprits are; the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), even as he tasked them to turn a new leaf by promptly remitting their operating surplus appropriately.
Muruako added that the aforementioned agencies have not been submitting their annual audited account, receipts of their remittances, budgets, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) thereby hampering prompt and accurate determination of operating surplus liabilities.
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He added that the independent revenue drive of the Federal government is not encouraging and NTDC, FAAN, NERC and NOSDRA have not been complying fully with the provisions of section 21, 22 and 23 of Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
While appreciating the representatives of these agencies for their presence, he implored them to inform their respective Chief Executives that the Commission will appreciate their presence to ensure a more robust discussion on specific areas of strategic nature to improve compliance.
In his remarks, the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation of FRC, Alhaji Ola Tijani pointed out that these agencies may be doing something right in a bid to ensure compliance but there must proof of prudence, accountability and transparency in financial reporting in order to be in line with the FRA 2007.
According to him, compliance entails these agencies prepare and publish their audited financial statement not later than 90 days after the financial year and Operating Surplus thereafter determined in line of publishing Annual Financial Statement with the Operating Surplus calculating template within 30 days
Tijani emphasised that without Audited Financial Statement, there is no way the Commission can determine appropriate liabilities. There is, therefore, the need for Agencies to re-position their operations to comply with the provisions of the Act.
He further said that the Commission is ready to offer capacity building on the provisions of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, particularly on the preparation of MTEF and the correct application of Fiscal Responsibility Commission Operating Surplus Template. Responding, the leader of the delegation and Director, the Finance and Accounts Adegbesan Abiodun, who represented the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma pleaded for time to enable them make all the necessary documentations that will henceforth make it possible for them to be paying operating surplus.
He said FAAN was ready to collaborate with the FRC in its efforts to improve the independent revenue generation drive of the Federal government.
He stressed the need for the preparation of improved estimation of Revenue and Expenditure (MTEF) with efficient narratives to highlight the activities of the Agencies. He noted that the figures being submitted in MTEF is not adequate to satisfy the need for prudence, transparency and accountability.