Mr Victor Muruako, the Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), says over N1.4 trillion has accrued into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government between 2007 and 2017. He disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a technical workshop on the implementation of the operating surplus template for scheduled corporations under the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007.
Muruako said the accrued amount was only made possible through the implementation of the FRA which was implemented in 2007. He said the act placed the responsibility of monitoring the determination and remittance of operating surplus for the 122 listed corporations under it on the commission and was therefore instrumental to bringing in the funds.
He said it had been observed that many scheduled corporations avoided declaring operating surplus by indulging in creative accounting and incurring expenditures not included or above their annual appropriation. According to him, though the act does not define what constitutes or determines operating surplus, it is the difference between the income and expenditure of a scheduled corporation or Ministry, Department and Agency (MDAs) as derived from its audited financial statements.
He said this prompted the development of a template for calculating operating surplus in line with international best practices. “Where the difference is positive, then it is a must that a surplus must be paid, but if it is a negative it is a deficit.
“The FRA in Sections 22 to 24 requires scheduled corporations/MDAs to remit 80 per cent of their surplus into the CRF of the Federal Government and keep 20 per cent in their general reserve fund,” said Muruako. He added that the template was developed with inputs from the Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and other stakeholders.
He said the template would help rake in a lot of funds for the Federal Government if all 122 corporations under it complied with the regulations. “I urge all of them to please adhere strictly to it because it will be one of the cardinal efforts to increase and generate revenue for the Federal Government,” he said.
Muruako also said that the template was approved by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, in 2016. Muruako said the template would be launched on Wednesday followed by a technical workshop to enlighten account officers of the corporations for better implementation. On sanctions for erring MDAs, he said the template as a financial rule should actually come with implied sanction, but that it was impossible presently because the Act had not been amended. He added that amendment of the act was instrumental to ensuring that sanctions were implied.
He added that the bill to amend it was still at the committee stage at the National Assembly and would suffer greatly at the expiration of the eight National Assembly. He also said the commission was looking forward to a time when all the Federal Government agencies including the military and police would come under the act and remit surpluses. FRC was established to promote prudent management of the nation’s resources. NAN
Pix: Victor Murako, Chairman Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC)