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Reject budget proposals of MDAs yet to submit financial statements, FRC tells n’assembly

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria has called on the national assembly to reject budget proposals of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) yet to submit their annual financial statements of the previous year.

This was stated on Tuesday by executive secretary of the FRC, Shuaibu Ahmed in Abuja at a seminar themed ‘Public Sector Financial Reporting: Issues and Challenges’.

He said the FRC would continue to impose fines and penalties against public sector entities that have failed to file their annual financial statements.

“So far between the end of 2020 and 2021 to date, a total of 115 public sector entities comprising of government parastatals, government agencies, and government business entities have filed their annual financial statements with the FRC,” Ahmed said.

“This is very significant progress. For those who have not filed, we are imposing fines and penalties on them in line with the provisions of the FRC Act and its extant rules.

“Public sector entities are expected to provide financial information that is not only timely but accurate and useful for decision making and most importantly germane to evaluating government performance as a bastion of public accountability and stewardship.

“Let me stress the importance of timely preparation, audit and filing of AFS and also warn against unnecessary delay in this respect.

“A situation where critical institutions of government, some of the apex regulatory bodies, are two to three years behind in releasing their audited FSs should not and will no longer be tolerated.

“I want to therefore call on the National Assembly to make it a rule that the budget proposals of public sector entities in default of filing their AFS of the previous year would not be considered and approved for the coming year.’’

Ahmed said credible financial reports enhance efficient decision making by those charged with governance, but also boost the perception index of the country.

“By extension, it enhances Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) as veritable tools and catalysts for the nation’s economic growth,’’ he said.

Also speaking at the event, Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, said sound and accurate financial reporting is critical in ensuring appropriate utilisation of government funds.

He added that it is essential in increasing public confidence in government and attracting investment in public-private partnerships.

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