By Udora Orizu
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, yesterday disclosed that the federal government would soon acquire software to monitor revenue remittances by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Idris revealed this while responding to a question by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance at the resumed budget defence session in Abuja.
When asked by the committee Chairman, Hon. James Faleke, on provisions he has made to be able to reduce the leakages and delays in remittances from other MDAs, he said software is on the way which would be linked to all the revenue generating agencies to monitor leakages.
According to him, “We don’t have visibility-as the money is coming in we only see it dropping-but we’re working through the office of the department of revenue and investment to have software linked to all these revenue generating agencies. This is geared towards achieving that, and once we have that, we will deploy it to all revenue generating agencies particularly as it relates to the government-owned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). But beyond that, we are also planning to do holistic job for the federation-there’s something in the pipeline and we’re undergoing the process of procurement-because the solution providers are there, and have sent for clearance by bureau of public procurement. So I believe we will soon get all of that.’’
In his response, Faleke asked the AGF to submit an estimated cost for the system, assuring him that the lawmakers will ensure the money for the system is budgeted.
The lawmaker said: ‘’If you’re going through procurement process, I didn’t see that in the 2021 budget. In the next 10 days, provide us the estimated cost. For me, at this committee, it’s more critical to us than others-a situation where you’re able to see online how these revenues are generated by all agencies. You can just link up that system to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and can as well block it using that system. I assure that we will look for money for that project.”
Meanwhile, the Accountant General also appealed to the lawmakers to increase the budget allocated to his office.
The AGF, in its 2021 budget proposal presented to the committee, proposed a total estimate of N4.947 billion.
Idris lamented that the office, despite its role, is being treated like any other MDA.
He said: ‘’It will be better if the government can increase our funding. This is the office that gives money, but it’s being treated like any other MDA. As at today, as you heard as the Minister of Finance mentioned that we paid overhead up to August, we also received up to August, and we have to pay the cleaners and gardeners to maintain the landscape. Now we’re in November but we don’t know when the overhead for September will come.”