By Tony Obiechina, ABUJA
The Federal Government on Tuesday declared Emergency on Revenue Generation following the refusal of Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) to remit their declared surpluses into the Treasury.
The government lamented that despite investing about N40 trillion in these agencies, what is usually remitted to the Treasury in terms of dividend or surplus at the end of each operating year is mostly insignificant.
It was learnt that the GEOs were yet to remit their declared surplus totalling N2.7 trillion into government Treasury.
Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze made the declarations during a Town Hall meeting with the Directors General/Chief Executive Officers and their representatives in Abuja.
According to him, “the record shows that few of the GOEs declare surpluses. In effect, the Nigerian tax payers/general public have not benefited much
from these investments agencies”.
Akabueze disclosed that “Out of the total projected sum of N807.57bn independent revenues in 2017, only N216.66 billion, representing 26.8% performance, was remitted by GOEs and revenue generating MDAs. Remittances and collections by Government agencies should contribute more significantly to FGN’s revenue”.
He said, “the expected outcome will be significantly improved remittances by revenue-generating and collecting agencies in order to strengthen the Federal Government’s finances”.
As part of measures to enhance performances in the public service, the President had last month approved a new performance management framework for the GOEs with the objective to raise revenue generation and remittances into government treasury.
A circular to this effect by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said, ” it shall be mandatory for all GEOs to use the Treasury Single Account (TSA) for all financial transactions; the accounts of all GEOs shall henceforth be audited within four month… “
Mr Akabueze pointed out that another key imperative ‘is to bring the activities of these agencies into the budgetary framework and process. It is also considered desirable to consolidate at least the major agencies in the fiscal forecasting, budgeting and financial reporting of the FGN in order to make the process more transparent and inclusive”.
According to him, “the expected outcome will be significantly improved remittances by
revenue-generating and collecting agencies in order to strengthen the Federal Government’s finances.
“Another key imperative is to bring the activities of these agencies into the budgetary framework and process. It is also considered desirable to consolidate at least the major agencies in the fiscal forecasting, budgeting and financial reporting of the FGN in order to make the process more transparent and inclusive.
“Nigeria faces significant medium-term fiscal challenges, especially with respect to revenue generation. Thus, key reforms will be implemented with increased vigour to improve revenue collection and expenditure
“Achieving fiscal sustainability and macro-fiscal objectives of government will require bold, decisive and urgent action”, he added.
The Director General regretted that between in 2017 and Jan – Sept 2018 budget performance “clearly revealed that there was a serious revenue challenge, adding that some of the initiatives being taken to address the revenue
*Deployment of new/improved technology to improve revenue collection
*Upward review of tariffs and tax rates where appropriate
*Stronger enforcement action against tax defaulters
*Tighter Performance Management Framework for Government Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
He said from the foregoing, the imperatives for improved revenuenperformance is evident. The objective of this framework is to improve revenue generation and associated remittances to government coffers.
This Framework he explained categorizes GOEs into, Self-funded, Partially-funded; Fully-funded
He said to achieve the stated objectives, legislative action may be required in the medium term in addition to amending relevant sections of the Acts establishing
some of the GOEs to reflect economic realities and
policy thrust of government.
“Some establishing Acts, for instance, empower the
Boards of agencies to serve as final approving authorities
over their spending plans, while some others appear to
have been precluded from the requirement to remit
operational surpluses”, he added.