BY AMECHI OGBONNA
As part of measures to strengthen accountability and enhance transparency in public sector administration, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), last weekend, hinted it would commence the publication of names and identities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government that fail to publish their audited financial statements in line with the provisions of the council’s Act.
Speaking at the annual retreat for reporters and business editors in Lagos, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive of FRC, Mr. Jim Obazze, said the idea was to ensure that corporate governance principles and transparency enshrined in the FRC Act in respect of public and private sector entities are observed and fully complied with by managers of such organisations.
According to him, recent reviews done by the FRC reveal that only a few government agencies have up to date financial statements due to their lack of technical manpower to analyse financial reports, adding that such institutions may have to urgently train their manpower to be able to comply with requirements of the law on public sector accounting since the FRC would no longer condone abuse of the provisions of its law.
Commenting on the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), he pointed out that only Lagos out of the 36 states of the federation has been able to get it right so far, warning that those that have not complied may face some stringent sanctions from 2015, particularly as the Federal Government was already in the process of gazzeting the directive.
Obazze stated: “We have strict penalties for corporate governance breaches but we are also exposing this to Nigerian public to make their comments.”
The FRC boss noted that not-for-profit organisations like churches have been given one year waiver in line with their request to put their houses in order and thereafter begin rendition of their financial reports in line with the demands of the law.
The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) is a unified independent regulatory body for accounting, auditing, actuarial, valuation and corporate governance practices in public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
It was set up to address current institutional weaknesses in regulation, compliance and enforcement of standards and the development of robust arrangements for monitoring and enforcing compliance with financial reporting standards in Nigeria.
Source : SunOnline