FROM ISAAC ANUMIHE, ABUJA
Following the dwindling oil revenue occasioned by the global oil price fall, the Federal Government yesterday rose to the occasion by ordering resource managers at all levels to block revenue leakages and loopholes in the country.
Speaking at the kick-off of a two-day workshop organised by the Office of the Accountant General of Federation (OAGF) on national treasury with the theme, “Optimum Funds Management in the Midst of Cash Flow Challenges.” Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, told treasury officers comprising states’ Accountants-General and other finance officers both at the state and federal levels to ensure they block all resource leakages.
He also told the participants to come up with practical ways to diversify the revenue base of the economy, saying that government was determined to diversify the economy.
According to him, the workshop was supposed to address all that needed to be done to beef up other revenue sources.
“If you are talking about cash management, if you are talking about revenue profile, as a director of finance, treasury managers and officers at the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation the essence of this workshop is to equip these officers with new line of government thinking.
The idea about the workshop is to discuss the challenges we are having due to the falling revenue stream of government. How do we prioritise our projects? How do we curtail unnecessary expenses? How do we reduce overheads and recurrent expenditure? How do we improve on the revenue profile in the country especially the non-oil and how do we talk about diversification of the economy, which is what Mr. President has been talking about in the last four years.
“And this is the best time to apply the knowledge to tackle the challenges we are having and I believe after this workshop, we should be able to come up with measures that align with what we have started already as Federal Government. We will also call on sub-national level of government, that is, the states to also key in,” he clarified.
Debunking the declaration at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that Nigeria’s unemployment level has risen to 50 per cent, Ambassador Yuguda, said the assumption was not only wrong, but that those who held such a view do not have their facts correct.
“The assumption is wrong. What we do on quarterly basis through the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is to come up with jobs created. We do not only come up with seasonal job created through agriculture transformation agenda, which is a permanent job.”
Remember, each year we have 1.8 million new entrants into Nigeria’s job market. This is just to show the demographics of Nigeria. So, if somebody is out there in Davos saying unemployment has risen by 50 per cent, he doesn’t have the fact. We have kept on talking about unemployment. The various number of hours classified for unemployment varies from one country to another and we have been talking about it. This is totally wrong and I can assure you they don’t have the facts,” he said.
In his remarks, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Jonah Otunla, explained that cash flow challenge was part of financial management.
The AGF said the workshop was organised to enable participants understand what is budget formulation with a view to guaranteeing efficient governance.
Source : SunOnline