The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has warned government entities that are yet to file their audited financial statements to without delay.
FRC had begun imposing fines and penalties in line with the provisions of its Act and its extant rules .
The Executive Secretary of the FRC, Mr. Shuaibu Ahmed, at the opening session of a National Learning and Development Programme on Accounting and Financial Reporting in the Public Sector said, a total of 115 Public Sector Entities comprising of government parastatals, agencies, and business entities have filed their annual financial statements between the end of 2020 and October this year .
He said that based on the review of these audited financial statements filed with the FRC, financial reporting in the public sector was fraught with challenges which the learning programme was designed to address.
He said, their engagements with the National Assembly had further exposed the lingering issues of late submission of financial reports by MDAs and lack of proper treatments of accounting issues, poor disclosures.
He stated that public sector entities are expected to provide financial information that are not only timely, but are accurate and useful to evaluating government performance as a bastion of public accountability and stewardship.
Mr. Shuaibu Ahmed called on the National Assembly to make it a rule that the budget proposals of Public Sector Entities in default of filling their AFS of the previous year should not be considered and approved for the coming year.
Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said a major challenge of financial reporting by public sector entities is the poor knowledge and application of accounting standards.
He said, “This program is therefore essential for Government Agencies and I commend both FRC and the Office of the Accountant General of The Federation for the creation of this forum.
“I have been informed that the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has carried out a review of some of the financial statements filed with them by a number of public sector entities and a lot has been revealed”. The Minister noted.
“It has been observed that there is lack of proper understanding of the requirements for credible financial reporting in the public sector.
“Some public sector entities still use the Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) issued by the defunct Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB) as their reporting framework while others use a number of other formats,” he said.
The Minister described the capacity-building program as FRC’s contribution to Nigeria’s economic development.
Reporting by Victoria Chimezie; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare