As the conclusion of the 2023 fiscal year approaches, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has released a firm notification to all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) regarding the finalization of 2023 accounts and the initiation of access to the 2024 budget.
The notice came in the annual Federal Treasury Circular with reference number TRYA7&B7/2023/OAGF/CAD/026/Vol.V/823 dated December 19, 2023 and signed by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein.
As the 2023 Appropriation Act implementation draws to a close, both recurrent and capital expenditures for the current year will be closed on December 31st, 2023.
This indicates a crucial timeline for MDAs to complete their financial activities and comply with the OAGF’s directives.
The process will be swift and automatic for MDAs utilizing the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Madein said: “Both ledger periods and access to funds will be closed online, real-time, by midnight of December 31st, 2023”.
“Similarly, TSA-Sub Accounts of MDAs holding regular budgetary funds with a recurrent component will face the same automatic closure at midnight. The OAGF warned against any attempts to circumvent the closure process.
“Transferring funds to hidden accounts or engaging in practices like creating surrogate accounts to manipulate unspent balances, the AGF said “, will be detected and met with consequences. MDAs and officers involved in such manoeuvres will face appropriate sanctions.”
Accordingly, OAGF said MDAs using GIFMIS must upload all 2023 transactions from their Sub-TSA Accounts into the system using the Journal Entry Functionality; the Government insisted this exercise must be completed by February 13th, 2024.
In addition, access to funds for 2024 transactions will only be granted to MDAs after the Treasury confirms the accurate posting of all Sub-TSA transactions into GIFMIS.
Furthermore, the OAGF has developed a specific framework for upload, available within the GIFMIS journal entry functionality sub-module. Adherence to this framework, the AGF warned, is mandatory for all MDAs.
In keeping with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and Financial Regulations, all MDAs have been ordered to submit their Audited Trial Balance and Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31st, 2023, to the OAGF on or before February 28th, 2024.
The timely submission of audited financial reports, the AGF said, “is crucial for the OAGF to proceed with opening accounts and releasing budgetary allocations for the 2024 fiscal year”.
The Government noted that failure to comply with these requirements will have significant consequences.
Regarding the Presidential Directives and Financial Regulations, any MDA that fails to submit their audited financial statements will face immediate suspension of fund allocation. Additionally, a query will be issued to the Director or Head of Finance and Accounts of the non-compliant MDA.
The OAGF’s directive underscores the importance of accountability and transparent financial management within MDAs.
Recall that in January this year, former Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2023 budget of N21. 83 trillion into law.