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ICAN COORDINATOR DECRIES LAPSES IN BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION

By NBF News
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The Coordinator, Enugu and Abakaliki district of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Solomon Adeleke has expressed disillusionment that budgets are not implemented faithfully and no sanction applied to those, who are culpable for such lapses

He regretted a situation where governments had recurrent budgets of about 70 percent of its spending with capital votes taking only 30 percent and the later not faithfully implemented year in year out, without anybody held accountable.This leaves much to be desired.

Adeleke, in a lecture delivered at a luncheon organized by the Abakaliki District, wondered why government departments and agencies failed to regularly prepare accounts and sanctions that supposed to follow such breaches were not carried out.

He argued: 'The essence of preparing accounts is to facilitate appraisal of performance against established benchmarks with a view to rewarding excellence and punishing infractions,' pointing out that until this was institutionalized, the nation would not get out of the quagmire of underdevelopment, the beautiful rhetoric by the politicians notwithstanding.

'The accounts of so many government parastatals and even some MDA's are several years in arrears. This in part underscores the fact that we are either unaware of the importance of such requirements or some people somewhere do not want it done for fear of the consequence.'

He lamented that the legislature, which was supposed to be the people's watchdog in such matters as this and which had the mandate to constitute a public accounts committee in their areas of jurisdiction should ensure that it was enforced.

The coordinator said the Public Procurement Act 2007, which was enacted to ensure the judicious use of public resources was yet to be implemented as intended by the promoters, pointing out that the council, which was supposed to supervise the Bureau of Public Procurement was yet to be constituted.

He maintained that one of the cardinal principles underlying the Act was to guarantee the economy, efficiency and appropriate use of funds in public procurement, contract negotiation and execution: 'It is surprising that no mention was made of an accountant to serve on the National Council of Public Procurement in spite of the value an accountant would add to the council.'

He stressed the importance of accounts in the attainment of the nation's developmental goals as a country, advising that their services should not only be enlisted but used in helping to checkmate corruption if it intended to fast track the pace in joining the league of industrialized nations by the year 2020.