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Yar’Adua orders ministries to close accounts Dec. 15

Posted by From John Ofikhenua, Abuja on 2008/12/01 | Views: 1845 |

Yar’Adua orders ministries to close accounts Dec. 15


President Umaru Yar’Adua has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to close their accounts for the 2008 fiscal year on December 15.

President Umaru Yar’Adua has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to close their accounts for the 2008 fiscal year on December 15.

A presidential source, who disclosed this to our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, said the directive contained in a circular to all MDAs would curb reckless spending of public funds that usually characterise the last two weeks of the year.

According to the source, who has been in the Presidency since the last administration, the directive is also in line with the policy of the current administration that all unspent funds be returned at year-end to the treasury.

He told The Nation: "Presently, all financial leakages have been mended in a way that you can’t get government money to steal. Mr. President is content with what he has and all he pursues is good governance and eternity. He has lived a fulfilled life, especially after eight years as Governor of Katsina State. What else does he want? You would recall that he is the first President to publicly declare his assets on assumption

of office in this country.

"Gone are the days when you dip your hand into government funds without accounting for it. Now if you don’t spend it, return it to treasury. Otherwise, once you are caught you will be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)."

President Yar’Adua had in 48th National Day Speech in October revealed that Federal Government recovered some N400billion not spent from last year’s budget.

He had said: "Our commitment to the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business remains unwavering. In practical demonstration of our efforts to sanitise the financial and budgetary processes, we have realised over N400billion from unspent capital releases to Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

"The strengthening of the anti-corruption institutions and other law enforcement agencies is a direct consequence of our determination to institutionalise zero-tolerance for corruption. Our ultimate goal is to engender a culture of prudence, diligence, honesty, sincerity, decency, transparency, selflessness and accountability in our polity."

According to the source, the huge unspent spent fund indicates that only a negligible portion of the annual budget has been faithfully spent as appropriated.

The Nation learnt that besides the falling price of crude oil at the international spot market, the determination to plug leakages partly informed the austerity budget being proposed for 2009.

"When the budget is barely enough for them to spend accordingly, where would they get excess to steal? They would rather devise means of economising the paltry public funds at their disposal," the source said.

The circular, our correspondent learnt, caught some MDAs unawares because they never expected they would have to close their books as early as December 15, thereby narrowing the available room for last-minute spending binge.

The source also said President Yar’Adua has directed that all on-going projects must be completed and supported with documents before new ones would be awarded.

Former Health Minister Prof Adenike Grange, the Minister of State, Architect Gabriel Aduku, and 11 others are currently being prosecuted by the EFCC over alleged misappropriation of unspent N300million from the 2007 budget.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.