the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), should compel Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to declare their revenues and expenditures in their published accounts not later than three months into the new year, Prof. Nasiru Yauri of Faculty of Management Sciences, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, has said.
Yauri said this in a paper entitled: “The Fiscal Crisis and Management of Budget Deficits in Nigeria,’’ presented at the ongoing 21st Annual Conference of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in Abuja.
He mentioned MDAs such as: Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (NLNG).
Yauri said the FRC should act on the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) 2007 to compel MDAs to declare their revenue and expenditure. “Recently, the erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Emir of Kano claimed that about 20 billion dollars was missing from Nigeria’s oil revenue. The amount, part of the 67 billion dollars worth of crude shipped by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between January 2012 and July 2013, was not remitted to the Federation Account.
“A report submitted to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation in 2015 by Price Waterhouse Coopers confirmed that 18.5 billion dollars in oil revenue was missing,’’ the don said.
He said at various times, similar allegations were made against high-revenue yielding agencies like the NCS, FIRS, Nigerian Ports Authority, CBN, NIMASA, and the NLNG.
According to him, high-flying and huge revenue generators such as the NNPC; NCS; NIMASA; Bureau of Public Entreprises (BPE); Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NRC); Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); and Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), spent three years without remitting a kobo to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
“In this regard, government and MDAs must be made to comply with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, which stipulates that they must pay the balance of their operating surpluses to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
“Importantly, the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the current government should be sustained. All MDAs should be made to comply and appropriate sanctions meted on defaulting MDAs. “Caution must be exercised in the granting of exemption to MDAs, if revenue leakages are to be fully blocked by government. “I have earlier suggested that the current stance of the Nigerian government on the TSA should be sustained and caution must be taken in granting some MDAs exemption,’’ Yauri said.
The don also said that successive governments had failed to achieve meaningful implementation of annual budgets.
According to him, Nigeria’s budget crisis is reflected in the country’s perpetual failure in budget implementation, largely explaining why the country has expended huge amounts of money, running into trillions of Naira but has remained unable to record the desired level of economic growth and development.
“The budget crisis in more lucid terms refers to the mismanagement of both the revenue and expenditure aspects of the budget. “Nigeria’s budget crisis is reflected in the country’s perpetual failure in budget implementation. “Although it is common to assume that the budget crisis rests primarily in the mismanagement of budget outlays, the maladministration of revenue sources in Nigeria is an equally potent cause of Nigeria’s budget crisis.
“The magnitude of corruption in the budget implementation and scams related to non-remittal of revenue by agencies to government accounts are clear manifestations of the budget crisis. The deficit trap, on the other hand, is an offshoot of the budget crisis. The budget crisis as denoted by poor budget implementation; mainly due to factors such as corruption,’’ he said.
Yauri said that the most appropriate strategy to address the persistent budget deficit and overcome the debt trap is through expenditure cut. He said that the non-availability of accurate and reliable data; the lack of political will; the shortfall in executing capacity; and the challenges posed by political instability and insecurity; gives birth to another perspective of Nigeria’s fiscal dilemma – the persistent deficit trap.
Source : ThenationonlineThenationonline