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    FG directs MDAs to Commence Immediate IPSAS Implementation

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    By Tony Tagbo, Abuja 

    The federal government has charged all finance departments of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to quickly commence implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in order to have easy access to public funds from next year.

    Director, overseeing the Office of Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, gave the charge in his opening remarks at a three-day nationwide capacity building on IPSAS implementation for Financial management operators in the three tiers of government in Abuja on Wednesday. 

    He noted that the continuous training of the finance operators was in line with its commitment “to improve their competencies and skills in the preparation and presentation of IPSAS accrual accounting compliant General Purpose Financial Statements

    (GPFS)”.

    Okolieaboh who is also the Chairman of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) Sub-committee on IPSAS Implementation in Nigeria, said the subsequent setting up of the

    Sub-committee was to provide a Roadmap to guide the implementation at the

    Federal, State and Local Governments/Area Councils level. 

    “This decision was taken to

    further deepen transparency and accountability in Public Finance Management (PFM). So, twelve years down the lane the Sub-Committee continues to enjoy the support of FAAC to put Nigeria on the global map of comity of nations in the adoption and implementation of a robust and transparent financial reporting framework for PSE. 

    “By this implementation, it is believed that we as a nation would be able to demonstrate higher accountability and

    stewardship in the management of public resources”, he added.

    Okolieaboh who was represented by the Director, Audit Monitoring in OAGF, Mr Peter Chizea Onochie, pointed out that since the implementation of IPSAS Accrual Basis of Accounting on 1st January,

    2016, “we have constantly engaged with key stakeholders like we are doing today and we have equally provided support in form of capacity building across the Federal, States and Local Governments for seamless implementation”. 

    He however stated that “due to certain draw backs, not all entities of government have been able to effectively migrate from Cash Basis Accounting to IPSAS Accrual Basis of Accounting.

    “One of the major draw backs that we have identified is inadequate manpower and capacity at the various levels of government to drive IPSAS implementation and that is why the Sub-committee has made concerted eftifort to continue to build capacities across the three tiers of government”.

    The Director expressed delight that the Capacity Building Programme has continued to be sustained adding that this year’s exercise has been carefully packaged to address key and contemporary issues on both effective migration strategies for entities on IPSAS Cash Basis of Accounting and practical approach to the preparation of GPFS for entities already on IPSAS Accrual Basis of Accounting. 

    He therefore enjoined the participants to be fully equipped at the end of the 3-day exercise as public financial management operators so that they “would be able to challenge and change the status quo at their various PSE to adopt only practices that are in conformity with the set standards”. 

    Also speaking, an IPSAS Board member and Presiding Chairman, FAAC Sub-Committee on IPSAS implementation, Mr Chris Etim Nyong, explained that IPSAS aims to improve the quality of general purpose financial reporting by public sector entities, leading to better informed assessments of the resource allocation decisions made by governments, thereby increasing transparency and accountability.

    “Nigeria began IPSAS implementation in 2016 and so, we are still advancing, we’re still making progress. So, a deadline has already been passed”.

    On the challenges that have impaired the full IPSAS implementation, Nyong said: “One of them is lack of capacity and competencies for those who are to implement it. That is why this programme is being organised today. It’s strategically to build capacity to address that challenge of capacity.

    “The second challenge is the orientation of public finance practitioners in our country that have been used to a particular system. Now, they’re being called to change their approach. You now see that as a challenge because you now have to reorient people towards the new order”.

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