By Felix Khanoba
Determined to shore up the level of remittances to the consolidated revenue account of the government, the Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has organised a workshop in collaboration with the Fiscal Revenue Commission (FRC) to strengthen the capacity of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in remitting operating surplus to government’ coffers.
The workshop, which took place on Thursday in Abuja, dwelt on the application of standard template for calculating operating surplus to ensure that revenue generated by government bodies are adequately remitted to government treasury.
The AUTHORITY reports that PLSI had in December 2020 partnered with FRC to train federal agencies workers located in the southern part of the country, many which hitherto had issues deploying the template for calculating operating surplus to be paid to government.
Speaking at a media briefing to herald the workshop, Executive Director of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, said “the objective of this partnership is to strengthen the capacity of federal agencies especially the 122 Schedule Corporations (covered by FRC Act) to enable remit to the Consolidated Revenue Fund what is due to government from tye revenue they generate thereby supporting the Federal Government to achieving its revenue targetin order to effectively implement programmes and projects as captured in the budget. “
Olusegun said that” accountability is a dual way (revenue and expenditure) and PLSI is not just about ensuring efficiency in public expenditure, we are also committed to accountability in revenue generation.
“We will continue to support government and its agencies to deliver their statutory functions. We are holding the second leg of this capacity strengthening today after the first leg which held in Lagos ob Thursday 3rd December 2020.”
On his part, the Chairman of FRC, Victor Muruako, commended PLSI for its commitment to supporting and collaborating with the Commission to deliver its mandate particularly in the area of increasing the generation of independent revenue for the Federal Government through ensuring improved remittance of operating surplus into its Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The FRC boss revealed that verifiable figures indicated that there has been substantial increase in the volume of remittances of operating surplus between December 2020 when the first leg of the training was held.
Speaking further, Muruako said the training in Abuja would also ensure that the amount of independent revenue that will be received into Federal Government coffers in 2021 will clearly surpass the target.
He, however said that despite the progress recorded so far, there is still over N1.5 trillion unremitted operating surplus in various MDAs.
“The continued default to remit what is due to the government cannot continue in the face of the severe revenue challenge confronting the country.
“It is instructive to note that Section 22 of the F. R. A. 2017 has been amended by Section 62 of the Finance Actand tge target for independent revenue in the 2022 budget has doubled previous amounts, which situation calls for doubled concertrd efforts by all stakeholders particularly Scheduled Corporations to also surpass next year’s target as well,” he said.
Muruako also stated that in the light of the amendment of Section 22 of the Act, the Commission is already in the process of reviewing and updating the Calculation Template, which was designed to check the incidence of” creative accounting” by some agencies in preparing their Audited Financial Statements in order to reduce the remittable amount of Operating Surplus.
The AUTHORITY reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently presented the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly with more than N6 trillion deficit to be sourced from borrowing, which will increase the debt profile of Nigeria to over N41 trillion.
Experts believe that to mitigate the level of borrowing, it is important that the Federal Government strengthen its revenue mobilisation strategy by leveraging on improving remittance of operating surplus to the consolidated revenue fund by the 122 Scheduled Cooperations cover led by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.