Nigerians have been urged to focus less on Expenditure budgeting and more on Revenue generation. Thisstatement was made by the Accountant –General of the Federation (AGF) Mr. Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, FCA, CON at the first in the series of the Federal Government e-Collection Project, MDA Sensitization Workshop launched at the Chelsea Hotel in Abuja on 6-8 January 2015.
The Accountant General of the Federation informed the workshop participants that GIFMIS, which was inaugurated in April 2012, is now 3years and is a success story that has come to stay due to serious commitment on the part of all the stakeholders.
Speaking further, Mr. Otunla stated that with the birthing of e-Collection, it is projected that the project will be a success if all parties involved put in their best. According to him, the take-off date for e-Collection is the 1st of January , 2015.
While appreciating the Finance Minister for her support and encouragement on the other Programs\platforms before this, which includes IPPIS and TSA, the AGF stressed that the true potential of the Budget is yet to be realized due to reluctance by some major organizations to join the platform. He therefore enjoined all present to support e-Collection project.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, a representative from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who is also the Director, Banking Payments System Mr. Dipo Fatokun enumerated the Elements of “Good e-Collection as the ability to allow other alternative modes of electronic payments other than cash i.e.; The ATM, Internet, Point of sale (POS), Mobile Payment and Electronic Funds Transfer (NIBSS) as well as the benefits of e-Collection and cashless policy which include, enabling Financial Inclusion for all, Risk Reduction, Longer Opening Hours, Reduction of Revenue Leakage, Increased Economic Development and Stability. He further noted that the whole world is moving in cash-less mode and Nigeria cannot be an exception as the policy involves a culture change which will naturally take some time to gain acceptance.
Mr. Fatokun however noted that with support of all the stakeholders, Cash-less Policy is being accomplished.
The Director Funds Mr. Mohammed Dikwa, mni in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) in his speech appreciated the AGF for such innovation and noted that the introduction of e-Collection is in continuation of the determined effort of the OAGF at reforming the Public Financial Management System. Speaking further Mr. Dikwa disclosed that this is the starting phase and that all the Geographical Regions would be visited and sensitized in the coming weeks.
Several other directors presented papers at the workshop.