The federal government is to deploy part of funds recovered from public treasury looters to finance the 2017 federal budget, President Muhammadu Buhari said in Abuja on Tuesday.
The president said this in a speech he sent to the opening of the 22nd Annual Conference of Certified National Accountants under the auspices of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN.
He was represented by the Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, Idris Ahmed, who declared the conference open.
Mr. Buhari, who highlighted the difficulties the government was facing in raising funds to execute its programmes, said part of the efforts to mobilise financing to the 2017 budget was for the government to use part of the recovered loots.
The president did not give details about the amount government hopes to use.
Last week, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, told the Senate Committee on Appropriation that government had decided to roll over about 60 per cent of the capital projects approved under the 2017 into the 2018 budget due to funding challenges.
With a N2.3 trillion deficit in the 2017 capital budget and the refusal of the lawmakers to approve a borrowing plan submitted by government, Mrs. Adeosun said it would be impossible to finance all the capital projects in this year’s budget.
In his speech on Tuesday, President Buhari said his administration was determined to meet its target of generating 10,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020.
He said power generation has already reached an all-time high of 7,001 megawatts in the third quarter of 2017.
Reviewing the achievement of some of his administration’s policies to promote accountability and corruption, the President said the firm implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, since September 2015 has significantly enhanced transparency in the Federal Government’s Public Financial Management System.
“My Administration has practically done much in delivering on its core focus of diversifying the economy. Agriculture is not only helping us realise our objective of self-sufficiency in food production, it is a source of job creation, raw material for manufacturing firms and export for foreign exchange earning,” he said.
ANAN Chairman of Council, Shehu Ladan, pledged the association’s support to the government in its effort to sustain the growth of the economy, particularly in sustaining government’s economic strategy.
“The Accountant is key to the accountability project. That is why we are calling on our members to increase their integrity quotient in the discharge of their duties,” he said.
As an association, he said they are strengthening their discipline mechanism to ensure their members found wanting did not go unpunished.
The ANAN chairman called on government to urgently ensure that all registered companies submitted their audited accounts, pointing out that revenues from such companies could be verified by auditors to ensure their taxes revenues were accurate.
Mr. Ladan said in the face of inadequate funding to finance capital projects, government’s only option would be to reinvest the recovered looted funds into the system for quicker economic recovery.
On the fight against corruption, Mr Ladan said members of the association have pledged to “volunteer their services in this fight,” adding: “Our resolve to participate in this fight shall make it half won as Accountants.”