The Federal Government has launched an Asset Tracking and Management Project through which would locate, identify, assess and evaluate all its moveable and immovable assets.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said in a statement that a Central Asset Register would be created to realise this objective.
The statement was signed by Salisu Dambatta, Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, recently recovered 40 vehicles from some retired directors of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Similarly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, also announced the recovery of 40 Sports Utility Vehicles from a retired Permanent Secretary who served in the Federal Ministry of Power.
According to Mrs. Adeosun, the register will be domiciled at the Federal Ministry of Finance for recording the actual quantity, value, condition and location of all the capital assets of the federal government.
“The Assets Tracking and Management Project and the creation of the Assets Register were new initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“They are designed to enhance accountability, promote transparency and deepen efficiency.
“The asset tracking exercise and register will make planning and control easier and improve accountability for assets.
“With the increased allocation of capital expenditure to 30 per cent, it is important that all asset are recorded and accounted for.
“Where disposals occur, they must be in line with the laid down procedures and must be transparent,” she said.
Mr. Adeosun said the asset register would afford the government to know and monitor, in real time, online information on the inventory of government assets.
She said a project coordinator would be appointed for the immediate take-off of the Asset Tracking and Management Project and the creation of the first Central Asset Register for the federal government.
Mrs. Adeosun said a circular had been dispatched to all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for accounting officers to actualise the objective.
She said the circular directed accounting officers to prepare an inventory of all fixed assets held as at December 31, 2016, to facilitate physical verification by the project team.
“The circular further requested all heads of MDAs to ensure that any assets held by current and former staff are fully accounted for.
“In this regard, you may find it necessary to contact any former staff or political office holders to avail them the opportunity to return relevant assets in their possession.
“All inventory records submitted will be cross-checked to capital releases and project account purchases to ensure completeness.
“Where assets have been sold or otherwise disposed of, they must be recorded with supporting authorisation for sale and evidence of payment, where applicable,” she said.
According to the minister, the ministry will look at the records of the asset disposed of over the last five years.
She said that all accounting officers of the MDAs were expected to submit reports not later than three weeks from the date of receipt of the circular.
Adeosun said that the initiative was in line with the International Public Sector Reporting Standard (IPSAS) where government was expected to record its assets and liabilities.