Nigerian government trains 8,104 officials on public sector accounting

The training has also afforded the benefitting officials wide access to information on financial and operational performance; improve their ability to ensure internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud.
The Federal Government said on Tuesday that about 8,104 officials from various Federal, State and Local Government ministries, departments and agencies have so far been trained on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) as part of the ongoing Public Financial Management Reforms in accounting in the country.
The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Jonah Otunla, told members of the National of Association University Bursars, led by their Chairman, Hassan Yahaya, who visited him in his office that the training has helped in enhancing the ability of its officials at all levels to undertake central control and monitoring of expenditures and receipts in the MDAs.
Mr. Otunla said the training has also afforded the benefitting officials wide access to information on financial and operational performance; improve their ability to ensure internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud as well asstrengthen governance and accountability, through efficient and effective service delivery.
The AGF gave the assurance that all the bursars in Nigerian universities would be given the opportunity to participate in the various human capital development programmes initiated by his office to enable them keep abreast of the implementation of the ongoing Public Financial Management Reforms in the accounting.
‘’In terms of Human Capital Development, the implementation of new reforms in the Accounting system has led to the massive training of staff both locally and internationally on the operations of these reforms, and I am assuring you, you will benefit from the training programme,’’ he said, adding that those serving in federal universities would be given one-year sabbatical leave towards the end of their service year.
Other programmes initiated under the reform programme include the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which the AGF said has helped government in determining the cash position of the MDAs at any point in time; promote efficiency by eliminating fragmented banking arrangements; align domestic debt and borrowings to need; reduce idle cash balance/unspent budgets in MDAs and enhance government liquidity management.
Similarly, he said the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) conceptualized as a central payment process for all public servants whose payroll is drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) has helped stream-line payroll and personnel process as personnel budgets are now based on actual and not estimates.
The IPPIS system, Mr. Otunla said, boosted confidence in payroll cost; allowed for prompt deductions and remittances to all third party funds, such as the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Housing Fund (NHF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and State Boards of Inland Revenue, and check the ghost workers syndrome.
He said that the system, which commenced in April 2007, has, to date, seen about 246 MDAs enrolled, with a total of about 250,000 staff, while over N120 billion cumulatively has been saved as the difference between what government would have released based on appropriation and what was actually released to the MDAs and paid through the IPPIS.
“It is government’s desire that by December, 2013, all MDAs would be enrolled in the system,” the AGF said.
On Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) introduced in April, 2012, the AGF expressed the hope that it would significantly facilitate the attainment of Nigerian Vision 20:2020 and the new Transformation Agenda, as it would improve acquisition, allocation, effective utilization and efficient financial information system.
He said the system would also aid strategic management of public financial resources, accountability, transparency, cost effective public service delivery economic growth and poverty reduction.

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