FGN ASSETS: Minister of Finance Urges MDAs to submit records faster

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has urged all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Nigeria’s Diplomatic Missions and posts and tertiary institutions to speed up the compilation and submission  of the inventory of their assets held as at 31st December, 2016 to facilitate the registration of such assets.

The Minister said in a Government Circular issued to all MDAs on 23rd May 2017, that the assets registration was part of the determination of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve greater accountability and transparency in the utilization of resources in line with the adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by the Government.

She referred to a letter No. FMF/F & A/ ATMP/C1 of 7th March 2016, sent to all Federal MDAs in which they were requested to submit the inventory of their assets to the Ministry, but noted that the Ministry was yet to receive the submissions and emphasised that:”This delay is counterproductive to the objectives of this initiative. In that regard, may I kindly request submission within the next 14 days.”

The Circular, which was addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Vice President, all Ministers of the Republic, Federal Permanent Secretaries, Director-Generals, Chairmen of all Commissions, Clerk to the National Assembly, Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities, the Executive Secretary, National Judicial Council, All Service Chiefs, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Rectors and Provosts of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education among others, said that all assets acquired between January 2012 and December 2016 are to be fully documented and forwarded to the Project Coordinator/Director, Finance and Accounts Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja.

The Circular clarified further that even assets that were disposed off within the period should be included in the inventory alongside the “evidence of the disposal procedure in detail as well as receipts of payments for such sales undertaken.”

It is recalled that on 3rd March 2017, the Federal Government through a News Release issued by the Ministry of Finance announced the launching of an Asset Tracking and Management Project (ATMProject), through which the Government would be able to locate, identify, assess and evaluate all its moveable and immoveable assets held by MDAs in the country and abroad.

Similarly, a Central Asset Register would be created and domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance for recording the actual quantity, value, condition and location of all the capital assets belonging to the Federal Government.

“For the first time since independence, a central and Unified National Database of Assets would be generated and maintained for the purpose of recording, tracking and managing the huge investments in capital assets used by Government for the delivery of goods and services to the citizenry,” the Minister explained.

The News Release at the time cited a Circular addressed to all MDAs in the country requesting them “to ensure that any assets held by current and former staff are fully accounted for.  In this regard, you may find it necessary to contact any former staff and /or political office holders to avail them the opportunity to return relevant assets in their possession.”

The circular emphasised that “all inventory records submitted will be cross-checked to capital releases and project account purchases to ensure completeness. Where assets have been sold or otherwise disposed of, they must be recorded with supporting authorization for sale and evidence of payment, where applicable.” 

The Circular drew the attention of Heads of MDAs to Chapter 26 of the Financial Regulations, with regards to disposals of assets and warned that “any asset not accessible for physical inspection and not disposed of in accordance with financial requirements will be deemed to have been illegally withheld or converted. Please record such assets so as to enable the investigative agencies to be notified.”