The Accountant-General of the Federal (AGF), Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has described leadership managerial skills and initiatives as panacea to infrastructure decay in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
Alhaji Idris stated this during his opening speech of a two-day workshop organised by Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) for the Financial Correspondents in Abuja.
According Idris, there is need for heads of the MDAs and government owned institutions to look beyond their budgetary provisions to address challenges of infrastructure decay, bedeviling work efficiency and efficacy of the civil servants.
Idris, who emotionally gave an insight into rotten system he bequeathed from his predecessors, noted that “we embarked on provision and maintenance of infrastructure of the Federal Treasury Academy (FTA), Orozo in the Federal Capital Territory.”
Idris, who expressed appreciation to Nigerian Military for making OAGF environment conducive for work, said Nigeria Army constructed our car park and Nigeria Air Force renovated the FTA hostels.
According to him “with the desired goodwill which my Office enjoys, some corporate bodies have provided intervention projects through renovation of a block of classrooms and an abandoned hostel as part of their corporate social responsibility.
“The projects have since been completed and handed over to the Treasury,” he said.
He added that “library and computer lab have been fully equipped by other corporate organisations including the PTDF and NCC which donated over one hundred computers.”
On staff housing, Idris said, “we are about concluding and signing an MoU with a private estate developer for the construction of mass housing on the large expanse of land where the FTA Orozo is located.
“This will eventually be allocated to staff of the Treasury on owner-occupier basis,” he added.
On staff capacity building, the AGF disclosed that “we have concluded arrangements with Hewlett-Packard (HP) for the training and certification of our software engineers and prospective Nigerians at large.”
Idris, who mentioned capacity building as one of his cardinal goals, said “we have successfully trained 2,537 staff of the Treasury of deferent grade levels between February and April.”
The AGF said in line with President Muhammadu Buharis war against corruption, his office became the driver of various public finance management reform initiatives which are vigorously being pursed with “a lot of tangible deliverables.”
Idris listed the reforms to include Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and others.
Highlighting the benefits of TSA, Idris said “we have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements, resulting in consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts which were spread over deposit money banks.
“It has also led to the blocking of leakages and abuse which characterised the public finance management before the implementation of the TSA,” he said.
Idris added that “TSA has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowing by MDAs and saved government the charges associated with those borrowings which hitherto amounted to N4.7 billion monthly.”
Alhaji Idris advised the participants at the workshop to use the information and knowledge they acquired to enrich their reportage, secure inclusive governance by informing and educating the public professionally.
“It is my wish that this workshop aimed at fostering partnership, trust and understanding of Treasury operations will reinforce decation to the ethics of your profession including balancing of your stories, professional management of information, currency and accuracy in information dissemination,” Idris said.