Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force charged with full implementation of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
The GIFMIS is an information technology-based system that was introduced by the previous administration for budget management and accounting, which was designed to improve public expenditure management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across ministries and agencies.
Ahmed explained during the inauguration of the task force in Abuja yesterday, that the programme was developed by different government agencies to enhance effectiveness of government financial activities.
According to her, the programme was jointly developed by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Debt Management Office (DMO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“The programme is jointly developed by the OAGF, BOF, DMO, CBN and FIRS in consultations with other stakeholders. You may recall that GIFMIS is part of pillar three of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform aimed at making the Nigerian public service to render a world class optimum service delivery to the citizenry.
“The overall objective of government is to implement a computerised financial management informalion system for the Federal Government of Nigeria that is efficient, effective and increases the ability of federal government to undertake central control and monitoring of expenditure and receipts in the MDAS as well as increase the ability to access information on financial and operational performance.
“It also aims at increasing internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud, access to information on government’s cash position and improves medium term planning through Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF),” she explained.
The inauguration of the committee, she explained, demonstrated government’s commitment in ensuring accountability and transparency in the Armed Forces and other paramilitary agencies
She charged the task force to realise a full and successful implementation of GIFMIS.
She also expressed concerns for military and the intelligence agencies covert operational expenses and other non-regular allowances for personnel and officers that are mainly cash based.
The committee was giving three weeks by the minister to conclude and submit its report.
She listed the terms of reference for the committee to include a review the application of GIFMIS in the armed forces for budget preparation and review the application of GIFMIS in the armed forces for bottom-up cash planning as well as a review of the application of GIFMIS in the armed forces for procurement and commitment management process, among others
In his remarks, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, said the GIFMIS served as an integral item in the Pillar Three of the National Asset in Public Service.
The system, according to Ahmed, has been in place since eight years ago without being popular among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Ahmed said: “The GIFMIS kicked off since 2012 with 93 pilot MDAs and we have over 800 MDAs at all levels that are using it for budget implementation. Today, 105 MDAs deploy all functionalities of GIFMIS effectively.
“The ministerial task force will see to the implementation of the programme in the armed forces and other security forces of the paramilitary.”