Accountant-General positive about economy - THE NATION
By: Collins Nweze
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has said that there are visible signs of better days for the economy with the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR).
Idris stated this in a paper tilted “E-Payment, IPPIS, GIFMIS and TSA Impact on Financial Reforms of the Nigerian Economy’’, presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in Abuja.
He explained that through the implementation of the pillar three of the NSPSR consisting of e-payment, integrated payroll and personnel information system (IPPIS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and Treasury Single Account (TSA), there had been visible signs of better days.
The accountant-general pointed out that many tangible beneficial impacts of the Public Finance Management (PFM) reforms were already evident and explained that the reforms were not only desirable but expedient.
According to him, FPM underlies government’s efforts toward effective management and control of public financial resources.
“It (PFM) broadly involves the mobilisation and collection of revenue and the prudent allocation of same to public expenditure for various sectors. It further entails accounting for funds received and spent in line with relevant extant laws. After transiting to democratic government in 1999, it was evident that public finances were poorly managed as evidenced by fiscal inconsistency and indiscipline. Consequently, the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Fiscal Responsibility Ac t 2007 were introduced and followed since then by the executive political will to implement them,” he said.
“This action of government provided the much-need impetus and legal framework for PFM,’’ Idris said.
He said that the PFM reforms had improved governance as reports were now timely and more reliable.
According to the Accountant-General, this has added a higher level of transparency to Public Finance Management. “For instance, the statutory financial statement for the year ended 31st December 2016 has been forwarded to the Auditor-General of the Federation in line with constitutional provisions, ‘’ he said.
He said that the massive financial losses occasioned by payroll fraud through the use of ghost workers were gradually eliminated by reason of the introduction of IPPIS.
Idris said the enormous savings had been made, which were being used to enhance overhead and capital releases to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In another paper titled “SMEs As Engine of Economic Development’’, Mr Ezekiel Gomos referred to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) as the engine of growth and catalysts for socio-economic transformation of any country.