Just in: Buhari orders AGF, MDAs to publish daily financial statements

President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday directed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to publish a daily statement that will provide information about what came into the national treasury and what went out every single day unfailingly.

The President, who was represented by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Senator Donald Tayo Alasoadura,  gave the order on Monday at the launch of the federal government financial transparency policy/open-treasury portal in Abuja.

According to the President, the order is part of the committed to full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 so that government-held data-sets can be availed and used by the media and the public at large. All MDAs are required to promptly respond to additional requests for information beyond what is published.”

“With these reports, the Treasury will publish payments of at least 10 million naira while all MDAS must publish payments above 5 million naira made out of all public funds under their purview.”

The President said the information published must include the MDA responsible, the beneficiary, the purpose and amount of each payment. Accounting Officers are responsible for providing answers to any questions from the public relating to transactions completed by entities under their charge.

In addition, “all MDAS must publish Monthly Budget Performance Reports. These reports must include performance of the budget by various dimensions including MDAs, functions and economic activities performed by all Federal Government Agencies. These reports must be ready within seven (7) days after the end of the month.”

The President also directed the AGF to “publish monthly Fiscal Accounts detailing fiscal performance of the Federation including receipts from all the collection agencies and payments out of the Federation Account. This must be done within 14 days after the end of the month.”

The AGF and all Accounting Officers of MDAs Buhari said, “must publish Quarterly Financial Statements for government as a whole and for individual MDAS respectively. These must be published within a month after the end of the quarter.”

The President also said AGF must also “publish Annual General Purpose Financial Statements while all public Sector entities are required to publish statements for their individual entities. These statements must be prepared following International Public Sector Accounting Standards and must be ready within a month after the end of the first quarter of the following year.”

President Buhari also said public officers should act in awareness of the reality that information about their fiduciary responsibilities and actions will be easily accessed by not only law enforcement agencies but also the general public.”

For contractors and other service providers to government agencies, Buhari urges them to “take note that any payment you receive from the public purse will be published. Ensure you collect public money for legitimate purposes for if not, it will not take long before it is known.”

This policy, President Buhari said has to be implemented in order to achieve: cementing government commitment to improving governance and supplementing the recently launched Whistle-blower Policy and equipping the general population with the tools they need to report financial wrongdoing;

Facilitating the fight against corruption through partnership building, so that transparency is not only encouraged but also enforced at all levels because this policy is also aimed at enabling timely availability of financial information to the civil society organizations and the public at large by all MDAs of the Federal Government.

The policy also hopes to set the minimum requirements for financial transparency by all MDAs. “While full and complete disclosure should be encouraged, a minimum needs to be set to ensure that non-compliance can be established and addressed. I encourage MDAs to publish even more” the President urged.

To enable implementation of this policy, www.opentreasury.gov.ng was opened yesterday for all MDAs to publish all the information required by the policy and for immediate access by all Nigerians.

The rollout of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to over 800 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAS), has enabled government to build what it called “a rich repository of financial information about the affairs of the Federal Government. Within government, we know who is collecting what revenue and who is getting paid which money and for what purpose. This information is available online real-time.