In line with the Federal Government’s agenda to institutionalize fiscal discipline, transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public finances, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), has engaged the services of 18 professional Audit companies to undertake the Process Audit of Federal Parastatals and Agencies.
Addressing the consultants recently at the Treasury House, during an interactive session to kick start the assignment, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, underscored the importance of the assignment, saying it will enable government to assess the true state of its revenue generation, capital and recurrent (personnel and overhead) expenditure across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). This is to enable the Federal Government reach better decisions in view of the dwindling inflow of its revenue.
The Accountant-General who was represented by the Director funds, Alhaji Salau Zubairu, urged the consultants to be effective and professional while carrying out their assignment and to ensure that young qualified Nigerians are engaged to assist them during this assignment. He emphasized that the recruitment of youths by the companies would enhance the quality of results from the organizations and also be one of the criteria that will define their future their relations with such organizations.
The first phase of this assignment, the AGF said, is divided into two categories and will involve 33 Agencies. Category A comprises eight Agencies with a turnover of above N100 billion, while Category B involves 25 Agencies with a turnover of below N100 billion.
The Process Audit which will cover the period of 2010- 2015, will be completed in 18 months. According to the AGF, some of the terms of reference given the consultants for the Process Audit include: to undertake a critical review of the financial statements of the organizations over the last five years; confirm the sources and quantum of funding received from government (whether loans, subventions, grants, etc.) and reconcile with treasury records.
The Process Audit will equally review the sources of revenues accruing to the organizations and the effectiveness of revenue generation and accounting; study in detail the enabling laws establishing the organizations with a view to identifying possible constraints and areas of improvement.
In addition, it will establish the cost of operations and make appropriate recommendations to understand real and personnel cost profile, understand contractual recurrent expenses, understand cost associated with revenue collection or revenue sharing arrangements.
Other terms of reference of the Process Audit are to determine the amount of remittances made to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) over the last five years in the form of operating surplus, revenue dividends; determine the extent of compliance with extant regulations regarding the adequacy and regularity of remittances to the CRF; and identify all income and interest thereon. The Process Audit will then make adequate recommendations on the future management of the organizations.
Idris assured the consultants of the support of the OAGF in discharging their duties, stressing that their activities will be closely monitored by experienced staff of the OAGF to ensure that government gets value for money.