By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
A report by the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti Corruption Reforms (TUGAR) has found many states across the Federation unwilling to implement reforms needed to check corruption in public finance management process with Zamfara singled out as the only state without a public procurement law.
TUGAR which is domiciled at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in the ‘Mapping and Scoping Survey of Anti-Corruption and Governance Initiatives in Public Finance Management Systems in Nigeria’ report launched yesterday in Abuja found all the states lagging behind the Federal Government in effort to check corruption.
Head of TUGAR, Ms. Lilian Ekeanyanwu while presenting the report, disclosed that in the remaining 35 states with procurement laws, procurements related to security issues were excluded from the laws.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed noted that while the Federal Government has initiated several policies and laws, most states have failed to put in place measures that check corruption in public procurement system.
Mrs. Ahmed who was represented by Dr. Sarah Alade warned that if the laws were not put in place and corruption was left unchecked it weakens public finance management system and hinders governments’ capacity to deliver on its mandates to citizens.
According to her, “Public Finance Management is the channel by which the government manages financial resources in ensuring the delivery of public goods and services to its citizens.
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“It is therefore critical to continuously monitor corruption risks and strengthen the implementation of anti-corruption initiatives in the PFM system. This is because corruption, when left unchecked, weakens the integrity of public finance and economic management systems; compromises revenues and expenditure management; and ultimately erodes the social contract with citizens”.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NEITI Board, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle explained that public finance management “is an efficient engine room of governance for secured reasons. This is because it encompasses the- (i) budgetary process, (ii) public procurement, (iii) accounting and internal accounting (iv) auditing standards, (v) civil and administrative methods (vi) protecting and teaching the integrity of accounting documents and records (vii) risk management systems, (viii) timely reporting on revenues and expenditure, and (ix) corrective action for non-compliance”.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in his remark urged citizens and civil society groups to focus attention on how revenues were expended at the states and local levels.
According to him, with over 47 percent of Federation revenue going to both tiers of government, citizens should pay closer attention to what was happening at the levels.