The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to close their accounts for the financial year 2012 by Dec. 31.
The directive is contained in a circular dated Nov. 20, 2012 referenced: TRY/A5&B5/2011/OAGF/CAD/026/V/180, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
The circular was issued the same day the National Assembly passed a N4.9 trillion budget for 2013.
The directive by the AGF is a signal that the Federal Government will not extend the implementation of the 2012 budget beyond Dec. 31 as done in previous years.
The circular directed all MDAs to retire advances and unspent balances of recurrent expenditure of 2012 appropriation latest by close of work Dec. 31.
Similarly, the circular directed revenue collecting agencies that outstanding revenues should be remitted to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) and duly accounted for before the close of work on Dec. 31.
For MDAs on Treasury Single Accounts (TSAs), the circular said their revenues should be accounted for based on the requirements provided in the procedure for the collection and accounting for independent revenue.
The circular gave Nigeria foreign missions that have generated ``independent revenue'' up to Jan. 7, 2013, to remit such funds to the Independent Revenue Account domiciled in J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, New York.
It expressed concern that some government agencies collect revenues such as Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, fees, fines and interests without promptly remitting to the CFR.
It also observed that some parastatal agencies have failed to remit their operating surpluses into the CRF as provided for by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
``It should be noted that spending government revenue without appropriation is a violation of the Appropriation Act in line with Treasury Circulars TRY/AI&BI/2009 of Jan. 19, 2009. ``No deduction should be made from any revenue collected,'' it said.
The circular also directed that all entries into the Departmental Vote Expenditure Allocation (DVEA) books, ledgers, mandate summary registers and imprest account should be concluded on Dec. 28.
It enjoined all MDAs to balance their cashbooks latest by the close of work on, Dec. 28.
It added that by Dec. 31, Treasury Officers would be deployed to MDAs by noon to ``rule off all cash books and extract the cash book balances.''
The circular informed all MDAs on Government Integrated Fiscal Management System (GIFMIS) and TSA that their access to the system would be closed automatically on real-time basis by midnight of Dec. 31.
``The TSA MDA bank accounts still existing with deposit money banks or commercial banks should be closed down and all the balances transferred to the TSA account.
``The OAGF has since taken a general inventory of all existing bank accounts that are opened and operated by the MDA.
``Therefore, with effect from Jan. 1, 2013, such existing bank accounts of the spending units will be closed,'' the circular stated.
It warned MDAs against moving fund that is not an expenditure item from GIFMIS/TFA account in CBN to any commercial bank.
The circular said a specific directive would be issued to the commercial banks through the CBN to take necessary action to this effect.
The implication of the directive is that MDAs on GIFMIS will not be able to conduct any financial transaction under the 2012 appropriation.
At present, 108 MDS are enrolled on GIFMIS - the IT based system for budget management and accounting introduced in April to enhance accountability and transparency in government.
The circular also stated that the annual boards of survey and verification of balances for government agencies would be convened from Jan. 3, 2013.
``The objective is to examine the balances, stamps and other security documents held by all the arms of governments, including ministries, extra-ministerial offices and agencies.''
The circular enjoined all accounting officers to submit all outstanding transcripts of accounts and bank reconciliation statements for the 12 months of year 2012 before Jan. 15, 2013.
``However, MDAs on the TSA need not submit their bank reconciliation statements as they are being handled centrally by the Settlement Centre in the Treasury.''
According to the circular, the Office of the AGF is desirous of finalising the consolidation and preparation of the 2012 accounts by the end of Jan. 2013 for submission to the Auditor-General of the Federation.''
It, therefore, warned that no cash backing of funds shall be given to non-TSA MDA which defaults in the rendition of transcripts of accounts and bank reconciliation statements.
This, it added, is in line with the provisions of Financial Regulation (FR) 3122 and 3123.''