By Sherifat Lawal
The Director-General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, has stated that all unutilised funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, will be returned to the treasury by December.
Akabueze, who made this known on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Thursday, added that Nigerian system is designed in such a way that yearly budget elapses on the last day of the year.
He said: “One of the things we have to do is make audit timelier. Untimeliness makes it more difficult to recover some of the money. We can get to a situation where audit will be timelier, thereby making the recovery of money more effective.
“Reports point out to specific systemic weaknesses that enable leakages. To tighten control around leakages and make sure that they do not reoccur, there must also be consequences for those engaging in such infractions.”
The DG added that in every year’s budget, there is provision for recoveries. In the 2021 budget, he noted, there is provision for projected recoveries amounting to about 238 billion.
“As we establish with certainty how much remittance any agency hasn’t made, the office of the Accountant-General of the federation is to go into their accounts and pull back such funds, if they are still there.
“Apart from the general projection for recoveries mentioned, government has also made provisions for remitances due from previous period that they may not have made, amounting to N300 billion in projection,” Akabueze added.