ENGINEER Adedeji Doherty, a Lagos governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former acting national chairman, South West of the party has called for the creation of a treasury ministry at the federal and state levels to curb corruption in Nigeria. He made the statement in a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly a couple of days ago in his Ikeja, Lagos office.
“A Treasury Ministry is the bedrock of accountability of government. It can cut corruption in the country. I am advising President Goodluck Jonathan to create it at the federal level and advise the governors to create it in their various states. No Treasury Ministry, corruption continues,” Doherty said.
He further stated that a Treasury Ministry is basically to monitor government’s income receipts, accounting system, expenses, allocations and projected incomes.
“A Treasury Ministry must be represented in all income making offices of the government. It is the information from the Treasury Ministry that will help to create a reliable budget. You can never have a substantive budget put together if you don’t have good information from the Treasury Ministry,” he noted.
According to Doherty, a Treasury Ministry shows reliability, accountability and responsibility.
“With the ministry, people will rely on the information that comes from the Accountant General’s office, federal government and state governments. It encourages accountability, eliminates fraud and cuts corruption. Also, it indicates that the government is responsible for the management of the economy and asset of the government entrusted in their hands,” Doherty analysed.
Doherty maintained that the creation of a Treasury Ministry does not overlap the responsibilities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ministry of Finance or the Accountant General’s duties or functions. “It does not overlap the responsibilities of CBN and Ministry of Finance. CBN is to manage monetary policies and also act as a watchdog on banks and financial institutions while Ministry of Finance manages the creation and execution of government financial policies including budgetary policies. For instance, if the Treasury Ministry is created, Nigerian Customs Service responsibilities will be restricted to examination and assessment of goods while the money will be paid to Treasury Ministry who will in turn account to the government. In the same vein, parastatals like NNPC should go through Treasury Ministry for collection of money,” he said.
According to Doherty, creation of a Treasury Ministry would maintain a strong economy and create economic benefit and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability home and abroad. It will also strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the government’s finances and resources effectively.