The Accountant- General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has challenged treasury managers to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s public finance.
Idris gave the advice in Kano on Tuesday at the opening of Third National Treasury Workshop held at the Coronation Hall in Government House, Kano.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was attended by commissioners of Finance, Accountants-General and Accountants in all Federal and State Governments’ Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as other stakeholders.
Idris said that the overall objective of the workshop was to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management.
He said: “It is expected that participants should appreciate that accountability and transparency remain major watchwords for prudent financial management practices and are therefore, major drivers of economic growth and development.”
The AGF urged participants to identify the challenges encountered by public officers in their quest for transparent and accountable management of public funds on a daily basis.
He said: “You should also strive towards improving the independent revenue base/profile of government.
“I urge you to proffer revenue diversification for the government at all levels and cutting down the cost of governance in the most acceptable way.”
According to him, the National Treasury Workshop has become a veritable tool in providing the needed platform for sharing quality information and knowledge.
Idris said the workshop had simplified the arrangements for the hosting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting billed to hold in Kano in June.
Earlier, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, described the theme of the workshop as timely as it will assist the government in fighting corruption.
He said that the government had approved the implementation of Treasury Single Account to block leakages and monitor movement of funds.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, said that government was regular in its payment of salaries and pensions.
Ganduje also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for extending the tenure of the incumbent AGF, Idris, who is an indigine of Kano state.
Also in an address, the chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, urged treasury officers to be transparent and accountable.
He said the fight against corruption was for all Nigerians and appealed to them to embrace it.
Magu said that the commission was ready to collaborate with all development agencies in treasury management for effective management of public funds.
In a remark, Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II, warned that the country might drift into insolvency unless the federal government eliminated the huge resources it was spending on petroleum subsidy and other commodities.
He said that the federal government was spending over 70 per cent of the total generated revenue on the nation’s debt service.
He said: “No nation survives in an economy where expenditure on basic social infrastructure depends on 30 per cent of its total income.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lead millions of Nigeria out of poverty can only be realistic if the commonwealth being drained on petroleum and electricity subsidies are diverted on education, health and infrastructure.”