Presidentt Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Kaduna said following various reform agenda being implemented by his administration, all government financial transactions would be open for all to scrutinise soon.
Speaking in Kaduna at the passing-out parade of “Detective Inspector Course Five”, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the president said he had resolved to intensify the reforms until corrupt individuals no longer have a hidden place.
He also said the plan of the federal government was to ensure that a level of transparency was entrenched in the system through some technological devices.
“My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. My aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny.
“The objective of this administration is to institute a level of transparency in governance through mainly information technology platforms. Just as advanced democracies and some developing countries, I am determined that within a short period, citizens would be able to follow core government operations online,” he said.
A statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Buhari disclosed that the federal government’s pursuit of transparency in fiscal transactions is now at an advanced stage.
In pursuit of the reforms, Buhari said annual budgets can now be assessed online shortly after its presentation adding that the Budget Office works in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
“Our government has reached advanced stage in fiscal transparency. The Appropriation Bill is placed online within hours of its presentation in the National Assembly.
“The Budget Office of the federation has been engaging interest groups in the budget cycle. A pilot scheme of 10 MDAs has been test running online display of their budgets and expenditure movements,” he added.
Buhari also said the federal government’s “commitment to online disclosure of beneficial owners of companies generally within the framework of the Corporate Affairs Commission and in the extractive industries through Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is on course.”
Submitting that “owners of companies are unwilling to comply with all disclosure requirements,” he appealed to “all well-meaning Nigerians to fully comply.”
He also said various national reforms and collaborative efforts with international organisations were designed to institutionally strengthen anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.
“We have been working within the frameworks of National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP), National Anti-Corruption Strategy which is an adaptation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR).
“Several of the reforms have been effective for several years with great impact on revenue and expenditure management. These include; the Government Integrated, Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Single Treasury Account, and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
“Executive Orders, such as Preservation of Suspicious Assets Connected with Corruption (Executive Order 6), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Act 2018; and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2018 have been operating for a few years and effectively limiting system opportunities for corrupt practices.
“This administration, right from the inception, aligned with the Open Governance Partnership and Global Forum for Asset Recovery in addition to existing commitments to African Union and Economic Community of West African States’ Conventions Against Corruption, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
“These frameworks focus significantly on systems reforms in order to prevent corruption. Nigeria’s active participation in these global anti-corruption platforms means that the country is subjecting itself to periodic review of its progress in implementing the articles of conventions thus the fight against corruption.”