Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has advised accounting officers of Federal Government establishments to be circumspect in spending funds allocated to them.
She said to avoid sanctions for financial recklessness in spending recurrent votes, accounting officers should become their own auditors.
The minister said the advice was necessary because a new spending template for recurrent expenditure was being worked out and would be released soon to check waste in government spending.
“I want to remind you that being accounting officers is not just a promotion or a title. It is actually a huge responsibility and we are going to be taking it seriously. You are accountable where public funds are spent and we are building systems to ensure that everybody that is in charge of public budget is held accountable.
“Eliminating waste is a national duty for every public officer and as the president has told us, change begins with me. Every amount that we save by controlling overheads is being redirected to investment in power, in roads, in rail and in housing and those investments will revive our economy, create jobs and reduce the cost of living for Nigerians.
“I want to urge you, please don’t just sign. When it comes to public money, yes is an answer. No, is an answer. Why is an answer. Convince me is also a valid answer. I urge you to be your own auditor. Be circumspect, be curious. In fact, be suspicious because we will hold you accountable for whatever happens while you are doing your work,” the minister warned.
She stated this while addressing permanent secretaries, chief executive officers of departments and agencies at a workshop on Cost Management on Overhead Expenditure organised by the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja.