The Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, Wednesday said the federal government has commenced a process to modernise the nation’s audit system for increased transparency and accountability.
Speaking in Abuja when he hosted officials from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy led by the International Director, Mr. Alan Edwards, he said the initiative was part of current reforms to strengthen financial management system in the country.
Otunla noted that though there were structural and infrastructure limitations, the modernisation programme has recorded significant progress.
He said: “We are carrying out reforms in TSA, GIFMIS, IPPIS and we are driving the adoption of IPSAS. We are also trying to modernise our audit system. We have some challenges both technical and infrastructure that are trying to hinder us but we are making progress.”
The AGF explained that within the past few years, the federal government had introduced treasury reforms that would boost efficiency in public sector accounting and finance.
Specifically, he highlighted such reforms to include the introduction of the Single Treasury Accounts; the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System; Government Integrated and Financial Management Information System;and the adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting System.
He also applauded the institute for its role in developing capacity for public sector accounting, adding that his office would leave no stone unturned in addressing current issues the reform process.
Notwithstanding, Edwards praised the determination of the government to strengthen financial management in the country.
He said the current skills gap in public accounting in the country provides an opportunity for the institute to would work with Federal Treasury Academy to bridge the gap.
He said the current treasury reforms, particularly in the area of IPSAS adoption would strengthen the reliability of Nigeria’s financial system within the next 20 to 30 years.
He said: “We’ve been speaking to a number of your staff about your move to the transition to IPSAS and this will help improve the quality of financial management over the next 20 to 30 years. And we welcome the opportunity to support you in training and capacity building of your staff in the future and we have some expert trainers in these areas.”
He said CIPFA would deploy its wealth of experience in over 70 countries to support the transition of country’s accounting system into IPSAS.