The Federal Government has appointed 18 professional accounting firms to audit the revenues remitted by 33 of its parastatals and agencies.
The Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, disclosed this during a meeting with the firms in Abuja to signal the commencement of the audit.
Idris said the move was in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to institutionalise fiscal discipline, transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public finances.
He explained that the audit of the 33 agencies was the first phase of the firms’ assignment, which must be concluded within 18 months and would cover the 2010 to 2015 fiscal periods.
Under the first phase, 33 agencies of government will be audited in two categories.
The first category, according to Idris, will involve eight agencies having turnover of over N100bn; while the second category will cover 25 agencies with turnover of below N100bn.
A statement from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation stated that Idris, who was represented at the meeting by the Director, Funds, OAGF, Alhaji Salau Zubairu, noted that the assignment was vital to the government for various reasons.
He said apart from assisting the government to assess the true state of revenue generation, capital and recurrent expenditure across the MDAs, it would also enable the Federal Government to take informed decisions in view of the dwindling inflow of revenue.
While urging the firms to carry out their assignment with integrity, he gave some of their terms of reference to include undertaking a critical review of the financial statements of the organisations over the last five years; confirming the sources and quantum of funding received from the government, whether through loans, subventions and grants; and reconciling with treasury records.
Others are to review the sources of revenues accruing to the organisations and the effectiveness of revenue generation and accounting; study in detail the enabling laws establishing the organisations with a view to identifying possible constraints and areas of improvement; and establish the cost of operations and make appropriate recommendations to understand the real and personnel cost profile.
The audit firms are to also determine the amount of remittances made to the Consolidated Revenue Fund over the last five years in the form of operating surpluses and 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.
Idris, according to the statement, assured the firms of government support in the discharge of their assignment and noted that their activities would be closely monitored by the OAGF to ensure that the government gets value for money.