By Dyepkazah Shibayan
The Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) says the federal government lost N557 billion owing to inefficiency in the management of public funds.
It said the aforementioned sum was lost between 2013 and 2017.
Speaking on Friday at an event in Abuja to mark the fifth anniversary of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, its executive director, said the findings are based on research the organisation conducted on “accountability and development in Nigeria”.
Elemo said Nigeria needs to enact modern audit laws that will ensure accountability and development.
“This report examined compliance of federal ministries, departments, and agencies of government in Nigeria with public procurement act, financial regulations, and other relevant laws over a five-year period to ascertain the level of waste and inefficiency in the utilisation of public funds and the consequent impact on Nigeria’s development,” the executive director said.
Also speaking, Osonuga Adedeji, PLSI’s lead researcher, said many MDAs contravene some provisions of the country’s financial regulations.
“Some observations include contravention of provisions of Financial Regulations (2009) and some treasury circulars by many MDAs,” he said.
“There is weak internal control system, misappropriation and misapplication of funds, virement of funds without approval of the national assembly, payment for contracts not executed thereby violating procurement act, payment without vouchers and supporting documents, non-collection of appropriate taxes, among others.”
On his part, Polycarp Gbaja, chairman of the PLSI board, said the organisation will continue to work to ensure that public funds are utilised for the good of society.
“While our organisation is looking to transfer some of the gains we have recorded with our work at the federal level to subnational governments in Nigeria, it must be emphasised that the task of fostering accountability in the management and utilisation of public funds has never been easy,” Gbaja said.
“But we are committed to it, and we will continue to ensure that accountability necessary for good governance and development of Nigeria becomes a norm.”