Survey indicates fiscal indiscipline in states
The financial statements of, and audit reports of states have revealed fiscal indiscipline, according to the Head, Technical Unit on Governance &Anti Corruption Reforms (TUGAR), Ms. Lilian Ekeanyanwu .
Unveiling her findings of the ‘Mapping &Scoping Survey of Anti-Corruption and Governance Measures in Public Finance Management (PFM),’ in Abuja yesterday, she said that virement is common without appropriate procedure.
The study, which is the third phase of the project to establish a comprehensive anti-corruption database for Nigeria, covers Cross River, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ogun, Taraba and Yobe.
She noted that most of the state governments in Nigeria regularly use supplementary budgeting process to adjust the original budget to accommodate extra expenditure already incurred for emergency and non-emergency issues.
Her words: “The findings indicate that fiscal indiscipline is prevalent in states in this study. The financial statements and audit reports of states reveal that same types of fiscal indiscipline: optimistic revenue projections and under collection, budgeting based on the unrealistic revenue projections, excess expenditure on some budget heads, under spending allocations on some other heads, and failure to spend at all in yet some others.
“Virement is common without compliance to appropriate procedure. Most state governments in Nigeria regularly use the supplementary budgeting process to adjust the original budget to accommodate extra expenditure already incurred for emergency and non-emergency issues.”
In her recommendation, she urged the Independent Crimes and Public Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to, in exercise of its powers under S6 of the anti- corruption policy and compliance standards for all public departments, agencies and corporations at state and federal levels in Nigeria.
She added that the anti-corruption agencies need to pay serious heed to disclosures made in audit reports of Auditor General of the Federation and States regarding affairs of the different tiers of government.
The head said that the fact that the infringements reported in this report remain uninvestigated even where they are criminalized under the anti-corruption laws, continues to erode public confidence in these institutions and the fight against corruption.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said that TUGAR survey showed that most states recorded abysmal Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) making them totally dependent on Federation Allocation to meet basic expenditures.
She added that : “The NEITI/ FASD report also threw up similar findings: the report shows that from 2007-2011 about N23.7trillion were remitted into the Federation Account as mineral revenue of which N8.22trillion was disbursed to the states government and the 13% derivatives states.”
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