- Nigeria's minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun says she has focused on aggressive implementation of innovative fiscal operations management policies and initiatives
How we have been running Nigeria’s fiscal operations - Kemi Adeosun
Adeosun said she facilitated the realisation of administration’s cardinal principles of transparency and accountability.
Nigeria's minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun says she has focused on aggressive implementation of innovative fiscal operations management policies and initiatives aimed at redressing the economic fortunes of the country in the last three years.
Adeosun said since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration May 29, 2015, facilitating the realisation of the administration’s cardinal principles of transparency and accountability has been her major focus.
She stated this in a statement released by Oluyinka Akintunde, media adviser, the ministry of finance titled: “Driving far-reaching reforms in Nigeria’s fiscal operations management”, which presents an all-around scorecard of her role as the fiscal driver of the Nigerian economy.
“Armed with a robust experience in both the private and public sectors of the economy, Mrs Adeosun set to work by introducing very novel and bold reforms that have significantly curtailed wastages in governance, and reduced fiscal leakages, thereby achieving unprecedented savings for the Nigerian government.
“In keeping with that focus, the Minister has played leading roles in the development of various cost-cutting initiatives through the pursuit of carefully thought out policies aimed at promoting transparency in the payment process, drastic reviews of the procurement process, the sanitisation of the public-sector payroll system, leading to the elimination of huge number of ghost workers, amongst other laudable objectives,” she said.
She listed the following as core points in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari:
1. Whistleblower policy
Launched in December 2016, the Ministry said it has received 8,373 communications as a result of the Whistleblower Policy on contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitment and misappropriation of funds.
Out of the total communications, 1,231 are whistleblowing tips. The Ministry has undertaken 791 investigations and completed 534 of those investigations. Ten are presently under prosecution and four convictions have been secured.
She said the Federal Government has recovered directly, as a result of tips received from whistleblowers, the sum of N7.8 billion, US$378 million and GBP27,800. In May 2018, the Government paid N439,276,099.86 to about 14 whistleblowers who gave specific tips on tax evasion.
From the specific information provided on companies which underpaid their taxes, the Government was able to recover the sum of N13.8 billion as a result of those specific tips. The Whistle-blower policy has helped tremendously in facilitating recoveries of ill-gotten funds and assets.
2. Voluntary assets and income declaration (VAIDS)
Prior to the introduction of the policy on June 29, 2017, Nigeria’s tax compliance record was very poor with only about 14 million out of an estimated 70 million economically active Nigerians paying their taxes. This has become more compelling, given Nigeria’s Tax Revenue-to-GDP ratio of 6%, which has remained one of the lowest in the world in comparison with countries in Nigeria’s peer group.
The ministry said the implementation of VAIDS has seen an increase in the number of taxpayers from 13 million to 14 million in 2016 and 19.3 million in 2018.
The statement added other critical areas where the Minister has made the impact on the Nigerian economy to include:
The Minister said she played a leading role in the setting up of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), which has since become the key platform for ensuring controls and effective oversight over the utilisation of public funds under the present administration.
On March 31, 2018, the Nigerian government approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to June 30, 2018. The government said the short extension after the original date was based on the appeals of professional bodies and individual taxpayers as no further extension of time will be approved after June 30.
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