FG generates N1.4tn from operating surplus in 11 years


More than N1.4tn has accrued to the Federal Government through the payment of operating surplus by Ministries, Departments and Agencies since the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act in 2007, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has said.

The Acting Chairman, FRC, Mr Victor Murako, said this in Abuja on Thursday at a press briefing to announce a technical workshop on the implementation of the operating surplus template for scheduled corporations.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 requires listed agencies to pay 80 per cent of their operating surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, while retaining 20 per cent.

The operating surplus is made up of revenues accruing to government agencies above what they are approved to spend at the beginning of the budget year.

Murako also stated that some of the 122 agencies that the Federal Government had listed as qualifying for the payment of operating surplus had started to avoid the payment by indulging in creative accounting.

The FRC boss said before the law came into effect, more than 90 per cent of the MDAs did not make any payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.

He added that the implementation of the new template for calculating operating surplus by the 122 organisations would turn around the finances of the Federal Government and make borrowing needless.

Murako said, “The Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 has placed the responsibility of monitoring the determination and remittance of operating surplus for the corporations listed in the schedule to the Act establishing the commission.

“Presently, there are 122 scheduled corporations listed under the Act. We have observed that most scheduled corporations were avoiding declaring surplus on their audited financial statements by indulging in creative accounting and incurring expenditures not included or above their annual appropriation.

“The activities of the commission in these areas are in line with the policy of the present administration to block all loopholes endangering revenue collection and to further improve on the over N1.4tn so far caused to be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”

He added, “The template has been approved for use vide the Federal Treasury Circular Ref: No. TRY A10 and B10/2016 dated 22nd of November, 2016, but a workshop to explain the technical details has not been held.

“The programme, scheduled for Wednesday, is a formal launch and a technical workshop on its implementation. The commission has been inundated with letters and personal visits requesting for the copies of the approved template and training on its implementation by the MDAs.”

Thirty agencies were originally listed in the Act. However, the addition of 92 more by the Ministry of Finance in an effort to shore up the revenues accruing to the government has brought the number of organisations required to pay operating surpluses to 122.

Among the 92 new agencies are the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.

Source: PUNCH.

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