Accountability In Public Sector – A Pre-Condition For Economic Growth And Development In Nigeria:
(A Case Study Of Nnewi-north Local Government Of Anambra State)
Accountability In Public Sector – A Pre-Condition For Economic Growth And Development In Nigeria:
(A Case Study Of N Nnewi-north Local Government Of Anambra State)
1.1 THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR
At, the onset of the oil boom in the 1970’s, many were convinced that the era of scarcity has given way to abundant resources. A major problem was how to plan for the societies to be confronted with the vast increases in material wealth and leisure. To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.The national priorities shifted rapidly as Nigerians embrace the increased material wealth with poor planning and abundant waste. The cost of running the government enlarged bureaucracy and social programme increased tremendously as money realized from the oil boom was squandered with impurity. Inflation, affluence and ostentation life- style became the habits of Nigerians.
A decade later, in the 1980’s the fail i8n oil prices presented a big blow on the Nigerian Economy. The financial plight of the nations’ book on crises, inflation, lack of liquidity and unfavorable balance of payment forced the government to introduced several economic survival package such as: the economic stabilization and reconstruction of policy, by the shagari administration and numerous reforms and commissions set up to bring spending sanity on the populace to a lower level for improvement of the situation in the near future. For these reasons accountability or the demand for public offices to give account of public resources, be it funds, properties, public statement, personal behaviors, actions, performance will continue to be of great concern to government policy makers.
As the public continues to feel an increasing painful economic pinch, the management practices of public officers will be under great scrutiny. If government and public officers cannot account for the way they use resources, then there will be a complete loss of confidence and trust on programme, necessary resulting to general apathy and discontent among the populace and even a breakdown of law and order. Thus, the inherent problem, facing the government is to device ways and means of making public officers accountable to the taxpayers for the scarce resources under their care and for their actions while discharging their duties. In essence, accountability in public administration refers to efficient management of resources for the general welfare of the citizens. This idea will be fully developed in the proceeding discussions.
However, the modest intention of this paper is to examine several government policies aimed at inhibility accountability among public officers, determine environmental factors that militate against accountability, and postulate strategies for prudent financial management and propriety among officers. Pursuit of these objectives wills necessitates relevant discussions of accountability corruption, as a mechanism for controlling waste, property values and efficiency in the management of public of fund.
In Nigeria today, accountability has become of great concern to both the government and the taxpayers. Accountability to public administrators refers to prudent in financial or materials management of scare resources. It connotes the idea of doing more with little and being able to account for every aspect of the resources involved in the process.
To max Weber, accountability entails “mental revolution” of the workers so as to embrace every fact of the efficiency theory. Thus, accountability involves a process by which a public officer can be able to give account of his performance through a process model of input-process-output.
Accountability refers to a situation where; “a public officer takes charge of the property belonging to the public. This implies that there is a contractual agreement either by verbal or written or simply understood that a public officer must give an account of his actions in regard to the property to the owner (the public, government or his representatives).
If anything has bothered careful observers in recent times, it is the manner in which public finances and properties are wasted with impunity either by embezzlement, arson, accidents, mismanagement or inefficient application one can stop for a moment to wonder whether the abandoned machineries, equipment cars found littered all around our government house and the government ministries belonged to one person, wouldn’t the person immediately repair them and put them back into use? The view expressed by Ejimofor in his writing is similar to the above he stated thus, “that smart massagers, clerks, administrators, executives, ministers, commissioners, military, governors and even head of state were found guilty over alleged criminal, and, man over of public fund, material and resources’.
Likewise Ugwu in his own contribution said “that civil service is notable for waste and inefficiency which can be attributing to bureaucratic straight adherence to routines and procedures.”
In the past, cases of embezzlement involving millions of naira have been uncovered in various ministers in the local government, state which the attitude of public officers and government towards the offence has been luke-warm. This in effect encourages more embezzlement, as punishments methods on offending public officers are lesser than the offence committed.
Most Nigerian have grown to accept and conceive public offices as a “money making machine.” There is nothing new in public officers making one millions of naira after one year of office whereas his salary is not to two hundred thousand naira annually. The extent to which corruption has infested and infact polluted our public institution is far unimaginable. A panel constituted by the government was saying “there were 10 to 70 outstanding audit quarries inn connection with expenditure vouchers for federal non-accounting minrtines and local government covering the eight year period 1965 to 1972.” Ejiofor summarized the issue on accountability in his theory as follows:
(a) The average Nigerian is corrupt, dishonest, nepotic, tribalistic and lazy and is all the time seeking for the opportunity to defraud and cheal his employer.
(b) The Nigerian society does not reward hard work, diligence, objectivity, selflessness, patience and inventiveness; the emphasis is on shortcuts, self-satisfactory, now-now and quick quick.
(c) The environment in Nigeria is not conducive for effective and efficient running of organization(s), a pre-condition for Notional development
In this study, which is meant to show that no meaningful growth and development can take place in any Nnewi North local government of Anambra state, Nigeria? Without disciplined public officers. Who can be accountable for their actions and behaviors and also for the resources under their care?
A nations development and growth potentials are measured by the ability of its’ public officers level of accountability both while in the office and long after when they have left office.
Hence, accountability should be critically examined to provide some guide towards the transformation of the economics growth and development in our country, Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Accountability has a very large effect on the Nigeria economic growth and development. In Nigeria today, accountability has become of great concern to both the government and the taxpayers. Accountability in public administration refers to prudence in financial and, material management of scare resources for the general welfare of the citizen. It is concerned with the idea of doing more with little and being able to account for every aspect of the resources involved in the process.
Many factors militate against accountability in our nation. These factors are instruments of mismanagement of public funds instability of tenure officers, hereditary influences, administrative loyalty and eye –service syndrome and institution inefficiency. The contains poor accounting conduct in our public sector is contributory to the under development of both local and the nation as a whole. The contions poor accounting conduct in our public sector is contributory to the underdevelopment of both local and the nation as a whole. The extravagant attitude exhibited by public officers who have amassed public finds and the socio economics effects of their acts have been a subject of national concern in recent time.
Thus the inherent problem facing the government is to device ways and means of making public officers accountable. A number of public financial ethics have evolved to support the need for adequate account ability in the management of public finals; these affirmative ethical principles include in department integrity and objectively include all proper transaction from the view point of generally accepted accounting principles and possession of competence and technical standards.
From the above, one can deduce that commutable is a precondition for economic growth and development. The statement of research problems becomes:
i. What are the reasons for efficient accountability and the cause of inefficient accountability
ii. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that effective and efficient accounting system operates or exists?
iii. What are the prospects of accountability in public sector in order to circumvent the inherent causes of inefficient accounting system.
1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim and objectives of this study include;
i. To identify the various factors that militate against accountability in Nnewi North local government of Anambra state of Nigeria
ii. To determine the implication of accountability, its effects on economic growth and development Nnewi North Nigeria.
iii. To determine the attitude of Nigerians towards accountability
iv. Finally, to suggest based on my findings some remedies for appropriate accountability among public officers
1.4 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Research data from this study with added more facts to the existing body of knowledge. It will show the causes of poor accountability attitude and lack of proper adequate accounting system of our public officers in the Nigeria. This study will also provide a way of tackling such problem.
It should be noted that accountability applied both to the obligation to perform work and to exercise authority. This means that accountability is always an upward activity this study should be of immense importance to all the financial studies students. The accounting students need this study should be of immense importance to the entire financial studies student. The accounting student needs this study for their continuous learning while other departments need it for the understanding of monetary policy. It can also of valuable use to the following: –
(1) To the student, it will provide a compliment to the few exiting text on monetary and material resource accountability
(2) To researches, it will serves as a valuable source of data
(3) To the policy makers, it highlight the mechanism or methods of enforcing account ability in public administration, against achieving set of goals and objective, it also analyses and suggest solution to the problems facing accountability in public sector.
(4) To the investors, it serves as a guideline on the effect of accountability on public sector of the economy in which their funds can be invested and finally.
(5) The study of accountability helps the bankers in analyzing the effect of government activities on the overall economy and how it will improve the rate of economy growth and development in Nigeria.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
However, this research is vividly restricted to Nnewi – North Local Government area of Anambra State of Nigeria. The research topic is broad, theoretical and analytical in nature and can be undertaken with respect to any part of the local government for example, cash management, internal control performance and efficiency. This, the reason for the limitation of the study in the below aspects.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitation of this study can be emphasized by the following:
i. General Financial arrangement
ii. The restriction of data pertaining to public sectors of the economy. It therefore becomes difficult to assess the impact of accountability on public administration.
iii. The erratic nature of government, in Nigeria, there is a great deal of instability in government, therefore economic financial development policy are never stable. It makes accountability in public sector very difficult and impossible of achieving any economic growth and development since it keeps changing with the advent of each new government.
iv. The inability of the financial authority and administration to provide adequate statistics on the performance of accountability measures adopted by them.
This is largely, due to the problems of illegal actions of the officers / citizens who attempt to thwart the effect of the government in public sector.
1.7 BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NNEWI-NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF ANAMBRA STATE
The Nnewi-north Local Government of Anambra State, as one of the pioneer leading local government in Anambra state has been in operation in Nigeria over fifteen years. The local Government came into existence in 1991, during the creation of new local government is situated along oba oraifite and okigwe express road . The local government was formerly known as Nnewi local government with a division of two equal parts-one is Nnewi –North and Nnewi-sorth Local government Latter.
However, Nnewi-north local government is made up of five parts (villages) with one central igwe for both the north and south. The villages on their own here the obi’s as their co-ordinators. The villages in N newi-north includes: Otolo, umagu, umudim, Nnewichie and ichie .
The people of Nnewi-north local government are known to be traders: They trade mainly on motorcycle and motor parts. Hence the “Nkwo market” Nnewi-north is known for business in their geographical area, this attracted people from other areas to come and trade with them, which in turn leads to the development of the local government.
The recent government under the chairmanship of Mr. Francis okeke had accomplished comes many investment and development for the masses. This was possible because of the share of the national cake gotten from Federal through the State government of Anambra. Though, this would not have been enough had they not put in their efforts into production of goods and services like the production of food items and fertilizer. Also they embark on investing in profitability ventures. The accomplishment includes building of roads, which is one of the important things, which they are in desperate need of. However, this seems to have its origin from the regime of Mr. Anthony Enuma. The development and retructing of the new big market is not to be left out. The market “Nkwo market” is the major sources of revenue for the local government now. The employment opportunity for the local government indigenes and non-indigenes is not to be left out.
Currently, they have about 1500 staff strength condusively, since its existence, it has been contributing in normal measures towards social and economic advancement of Anambra State and Nigeria at large. Added to that, the Nnem – local government has been maintaining and improving the living standard of the staff to a sustainable level.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
There are terms, which were frequently used in implementation, operation and execution of an efficient accountability in public sector and are defined and explained as follows:
a. Accounting: – By 1966, the American Accounting Association interpreted accounting as: the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by the users of the information. Accounting is also concerned with quantification of economic events in money terms in order to collect record, evaluate and communicate the results of past events and to aid in decision – making. This definition embraces the local government accounting. I’m pendley (1993) defined Accounting as a discipline for providing information and evaluation of such information. For the purpose of this research, the objectives of accounting are as follows:
Making decisions concerning the use of limited resources, including the identification of crucial decision areas and determination of objectives and goals.
Effectively directing the controlling of an organizations human and material resource. Maintaining and reporting on the custodianship of resources and facilitating social functions and controls.
b. Accounting system: According to Jawhar (1985) the accounting system includes the various techniques and procedures used by the accountant (prepare) in measuring, describing and communicating financial data to users.
C. Accounting Policies: According to statements of Accounting standards (SASI). These are those bases, rules, preparing and presenting financial statements judgment is required in the choice of the accounting policies which are appropriate to the circumstance of an enterprise and are best suited to present the true and fair view of its’ results and financial position
d. Internal control: According to R.N. Goyal and C.B. Gaur (1982), internal control, is a wider term. Internal control which also includes internal check is the whole process or system of controls, financial, management and otherwise established by management to enable business to function in an orderly manner, ensure the security of its’ cash and property as well as the keeping of accurate and realize records. The purpose of internal control is to present errors and fraud or discover them in time if they occur.
e. Economic development: According to Augustine E. Ejili (1996) Economic development is a process whereby the real per capital income of a given economy increases over a period of time. Economic development entails economic growth accompanied with solid institutional, political and other appreciable changes in the economy.
f. Public administration: According to marshal Dirneck, public administration is a process concerned with what and how of government. The coordination of all organized activities having as it’s purpose the implementation of public policy.
g. Economic growth: According to Augustine E. Ejili (1996) Economic growth is quantitative increase in the output of commodities per head.
2.0 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 ACCOUNTABILITY AND THE NIGERIAN SOCIETAL ETHICS AND VALUES
According to Ejiofor P.N.O, 1984 accountability to a large extent involves societal ethics and values, which have inexplicable influence in the lives of the people especially on their cognitive structures, perceptual domain, and institutional process.
Nigerians, specifically Nnewi –North local government over the last three decades hare embraced “get rich quick” syndrome. This societal attitudes and values have negatively influenced bureaucratic behaviors and negate established moral and ethical standards. The idedogies which set acceptable standards for bureaucrats in the past have put under pressure on bureaucratic and thereby resulting in bureaucratic cognitive dissonance for the public officer.
Bureaucratic cognitive dissonance occurs when a public officer is torn between the acceptable standard demanded by the modern managements and the societal values of “get rich quick like others.” The resultant effect is bureaucratic dysfunction, which militates against economic development as the officer takes advantage of his position.
It is not over exaggeration to state that financial misappropriations and embezzlement of public funds have been regarded as virtues rather than a bad vice in our society. Panels of inquiries into the activities of the various public sector present a damaging frustrating image of public officers and public funds, which could have efficiently been utilized in development programmes disappear from well seated officers becomes mysterious but acceptable by the society.
There is every reason to argon that majority of the frauds recorded in our public sector is stage-managed and is just a replica of the societal values. The societal ethics became more apparent in Governments attitude to dispense justice as and when due.
Panels of inquiry that actually completed their assignments have often come up with pathetic report. So, in the former East Water Board ended up with a report that “it was not satisfied that adequate control was exercised over the impress given to officers of the Board and was of the opinion that fictitious invoices and receipts should be introduced to account for purported spending out of imprest.”
Devices being used to entrench negative accounting ethics in our public sector differ in style and design and vary in scope, but they are explicable in our societal values and ethics.
2.2. EVALUATION OF MILITARY ON ACCOUNTABILITY
The concern for accountability in the sense of responsible government could be seen the Evaluation of the military.
Opara, in his book military and state puts it succinctly that successive military regime in this country have always highlighted the problem of accountability as a priority objective. This commitment to accountability is usually spelt ant to cover the two central issues subsumed by the concept. Abuse of office by public officials and ensuring that those who govern (The governors) are accountable and responsible to the government.
The Gowon administra5ion focused attention on then tackling of abuse of office in 1975, he announced that the eradication of corruption is one of the nine objectives to be accomplished before the return to civil rule.
When, Murtale Mohammed became Head of state after the July 1975 coup detach his maiden speech ran thus, “The leadership, either by design or default had become too insensitive to the true feeling and yearning of the people. This government will not condone abuse of office.”
The concern for accountability in the idea of preventing abuse of office was reaffirmed by his successor, General Olusegwu Obasanjo.
The Buhari regime followed in the footsteps of the Mohammed and Obasanjo regime. The following two items were listed among the ten objectives of the administration announced at a world press conference on 5th January 1984. The objectives include:
(a) Clean the society of the cankerworm of pervasive computation.
(b) Uphold the principle of accountability.
President Babangida who explained that the changed leadership through a coup d’etat in August 1985 was because of most of the reasons that justified the military take over of government from the civilian in December 1983, although president Banaginda had referred, both the issue of abuse of office (corruption) and making government accountable to the governed, he has tend ed to place greater emphasis on the later. Thus for example, in then speech he made at the inauguration of the political Burean on 13th January 1986, president Babangida asserted that his regime accepts, that government must remain responsive to popular wishes.
However, the two main reason why the successive military administration have consistently highlighted the problem of accountability in their statement of objective are:
1. To enable a new military regime to gain a measure of support legitimacy – acceptance to a system of rule based on seizure of power through the barrel of gun.
2. The problem of accountability features prominently as a matter of concern in most modern states regardless of difference in most modern states regardless of difference in regime (democratic and military government).
2.3 METHODS OF ENFORCING ACCOUNTABILITY (INTERNAL METHOD)
Purge of public service revealed the following methods:
Internal method: The purge of public administration service carried out in 1975 /1976 by General Mortal Mohammed regime and 1984/1985 by General Buhari / Idiagbo regime showed that the internal methods that are expected to help keep civil servants accountable to the public proved most ineffective. For example, the ethical standards of behavior spelt out in the civil service rule were never respected. Furthermore, the hierarchical structure of the service which among other things was intended to ensure effective leadership and that among other things was intended to ensure effective leadership and maintain discipline did not achieve the objectives. Above all, the financial memoranda instructions and circular, which should ensure regularity in financial practice, were consistency ignored, with the result that the financial management assumed great proportions.
The 1973/76 purge of the public service suggested that the Mohammed / Obasanjo regime wanted to tackle this problem. Although, the regime did not proceed to attempt a fundamental re-orientation of the internal working of governmental bureaucracy, it established the new specialized external instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the instruments that were expected to correct the inadequacies of the internal method in1976 the regime established corrupt practices investigation Burien. The purge of the public service carried out by Buharia regime in 1984/85 suggested that the weakness of internal control highlighted earlier has persisted to correct the inadequacies of the internal method in 1975 the regime established corrupt practices investigation Burien. The purge of the public service carried out by Buhari regime in 1984/85 suggested that the persisted and to date no concrete measure have been introduced to correct the situation.
Executive control: in theory a civilian political executive is expected to attach great importance to accountability than military policy ones. Contrary to what this theory suggests, existing studies of the Nigerian experience under both the parliamentary and presidential system of government show that civilian political executive paid little attention to the informant of accountability in governmental administration. While the record of civilian political executive is almost uniformly poor, there have been instances when military political executives have taken the problem of accountability seriously. the most notable example, is the Mohammed /obasanjo regime which after applying the drastic purge, proceeded to create two specialized institution as instructions for enforcing accountability-public compliant bureau. And it is significant that before the regime transferred to civilian politicians in October 1979, both institutions had been enshrined in the new presidential constitution with the corrupt practices investigation bureau transformed into code of conduct for public officers.
Legislature control: One area where the enforcement of accountability under civilian rule is superior to what happens under military rule is in respect of legislative control. The established practice in Nigeria to date is that after a successful coup d’etat parliament is suspended, and the supreme military ruling body currently christened, Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), combine both executive and legislative power. Therefore event at its weakest, legislative control under civilian governments is superior to the almost zero score under the military rule. It is perhaps the recognition of the usefulness of some aspects of legislative control that has led successive military leaders to create public account committee, which are normally committees of parliament. In the absence of parliament to ensure the proper and effective functioning of the public Accountability committees (PACS), they have achieved very little.
Judiciary control: Successive military leadership that assumed power has been in the habit of amounting a commitment to the rule of law by way of an independent judiciary. In practice, however, they have ignored the independence of the judiciary patty because of the unprofessional conduct of some members of the judiciary itself, (the later phenomenon ha occurred under both civilian and military governments). The key reference regarding how military arbitrariness has fundamentally undermined judicial independence in Nigeria is the Decree No 28 of 1970, called the federal military Government (supremacy and enforcement of power) Decree 1970.
According to this Decree, the provisions of military decree were superior to those in the country’s constitution. It is interesting that both the latter and spirit of the 1970 Decree have been maintained by the successive military leaders. Given this backdrop, it is not surprising that the idea of citizens obtaining redress for errors of omission and commission in Nigeria. The available judicial remedies, inherited through the adoption of the British common law system, have been maintain by both the civilian and military government order of mandamus, order of prohibition, order of certiorari, heabis corpus, information, declaratory judgment and the doctrine of ultra virus and National justice.
With regard to the “revolutionary” doctrine that military decree are superior to constitutional provision (in reality of euphemism for military arbitrariness), different group of citizens have been deprived of the right to seek redress in law courts against administrative injustice, and the judiciary have been prevented from acting as a check in the military exercise of power.
Indeed, Buhari’s purge of the judiciary in 1984/85 was an erosion of the judiciary, for it lost its respect as an instrument for providing the citizens with legal protection.
2.4. THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN NNEWI-NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF ANAMBRA STATE
Accountability is a very important process in any economy. This is due to the fact that it is basic, functional and indispensable to business, public sector progress and prosperity. It takes care of business assets and liabilities, it’s proper accounting, recording, safety and it’s efficient use. Accountability ensures that the local government adherence to management policies, rules, procedures and quid lines. This process in Nnewi-North local government combines both the three phases of the contest of business events –past, present and future. Thus, the role of accounting cannot be overemphasized. Accountability ensures that errors and fraud are thrown opens as soon as possible. This is more so because the accounting function is part of the management responsibilities. When properly designed and implemented, accountability contributes immensely to the local government area progress and profitability. Any absence of proper accounting system may result in many of the employees and other insider outsiders to the local government liquidating such government or perpetuating frauds in them and go scot-free.
Accountability in Nnewi-North local government is so important that without it, immediate pecuniary disadvantages will be experienced. This is in accordance with what Nwoko, 1988 said about accounting system function. Accounting function procedures and activities are carried out almost immediately transactions take place. All forms of fraud committed can more readily be exposed, by accounting procedures and activities if a good accounting system and proper accountability practice is installed in the business of the local government area
Furthermore, accountability provide the working materials with which the audit function commences through the means of accounting function in other words, without accounting functions being carried out the audit function cannot commences because it is the accounts (i.e. financial statements) prepared that is being re-examined and reported on by the auditor.
Accountability in the local government area basically consists of management and financial accounting management (costing inclusive) accounting takes care of the day to day management information need is so basic to the profitability / viability of any business. It makes use of business events in the past as well as helps to provide information on which to take “on the spot” decisions and helps in planning and projecting operations in the future in the form of budgeting and profit planning or revenue planning.
Another important role of accountability is that of reporting financial information to management of the local government area. Accounting originated to fulfill the stewardship function of the local government or any business. Most of the external financial aspects of the organization e.g. Dealing with accounts payable and referable, preparation of final accounts etc are dealt with by accountability. A sound accounting system presents a broader, more overall view of the organization with primary emphasis upon classification according to type of transaction (American Accounting Association Committee).
Accounting systems of Nnewi-North local government area identifies and gather relevant data. The process of data accumulation involves recording analysis of economic events and financial transaction for decision affecting the future. The manager in sole trading business entity or social political entity like Nnewi-North local government, use the economic data/information that have been gathered, and processed through the accounting system to assist them in various evaluation and decision making.
In addition, the local government area rely on accounting information to discharge their responsibility function we can therefore say that accountability is a necessity in any organization in fact, it has been called and accepted as the “language of business”(Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Nigeria, April/June 1991).
The aforementioned role of accountability will only be substantially achieved in a situation where an efficient accountant system is in operation, which invariably buttresses the unique nature of accountability in Nnewi-North local government area.
2.5 FACTORS THAT MILITATE AGAINST ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR:ANAMBRA STATE
The extravagant altitude exhibited by public officers who have amassed public funds and the socio-economic effects of their acts have been a subject of national concern in recent time. On the other hand, the attitude of our law enforcement agencies in giving out appropriate punishment to the culprits has continued to attract public criticism.
It therefore, becomes imperative that we should discuss the major elements that have sustained the mismanagement of public funds in Nigeria. We are vehement in an argument that the choice poor counting ethics in our public sector is contributory to the under development. As Druker (1979) posited in his famous work “there are no underdeveloped economics, there are under managed economics.” It then follows from the above analysis that under developed variable of our economy is a multiplication function of corruption, greed and inefficiency in a mathematical expression; the equation will stand as follows:
Ur = f (c x g x I)
Where Ur = Undeveloped variables
G= Greed, and
We shall therefore, look at the institutional, socio-economic, political and cultural factors that are instrumental to the mismanagement of public funds and thus negate national development efforts.
These factors are:
1. Instability of tenure of officers:
The public sector economy of Nigeria has suffered serious instability of tenure of public officers. Every new administration, be it military or civilian, always begin by dissolving the boards of all prostates and government owned companies and appointing new members to replace them. The civilian sees these board appointments as patronage for those who supported them in elections. The military who usually come into government on a corrective platform, sees the early removal of these civilian appointees as part of the programme to remove or reduce corruption in public life.
The study carried out showed that major board appointees lack the required time frame to enable them into reality for example, there is an observation that no General Management (G.M) of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) or the Board members of the state water corporations has enjoyed a tenure beyond three or four years. The implication of these irregular changes on accountability leaves much to be desired. Often times, the board members see their appointments as an opportunity to grab their own fair share of the national cake.
2. Genitival factors or hereditary influences:
The number of frauds we record in our public sector economy originate primarily from the personality type of individual. Some human beings are corrupt to the born narrows and would authority. This view was also observed and aptly described by Ejio for in the following word,
“No rule no matter how intricate cannot be thwarted…
“No rule no matter how intricate cannot be divested
“No law no matter how well it is draped cannot be circumvented
“No tradition no matter how Harry/old cannot be broken
“No programme no matter how grand cannot be ground and no organization no matter how viable cannot be rundown………..
It has also been discovered that there are several personality differences in every organization. The result of this situation is a far – reaching effect on the management of public enterprises. For example, it is generally agreed that, each person is unique including each member of identical twins. Characteristics in which we differ from each other are numerous. They include differences in sex, attitudes, emotions, anilities and approach to problems.
The Government is not composed of people with perfect wisdom who can pick the nest of men and women for the various officers in the public sector. The resultant effect is that majority of our public sector officers are bare people who must behave in the way they have been destined and conditioned during the early socialization process.
3. Administrative loyalty and aye service syndrome:
One of the characteristics of the public sector of Nigeria is the eye –service syndrome. Public financial officers have often negated the ethos of their profession in and attempt to serve their boss loyally. If a public officer suspected or noticed that he or she is under investigation, he will bring out his nonchalant altitudes towards public service, property and funds again. I can cite the case of a military Governor who was removed after six months in misappropriation and squanders. The financial manager sunder him were, on the other hand, unable to install adequate checks and balances to minimize the spending. Our problem, therefore, becomes more compounded by the administrative bureaucratic loyalty, which has infected our public financial management.
In an empirical work conducted earlier in Nigeria, it was remarked that pathetically that “a majority of board members have in the past, tended to behave in a manner calculated to retail the pleasure of responsible ministers often at the expense of high integrity and devotion to public interest.”
We start to correlate royalty and efficiency in the management of public funds for example, a survey which was carried out in this country few years ago revealed that performance in relation to accountability was a multiplicative function of loyalty and consanguinity function of loyalty and consanguinity factors.
There was almost unanimous agreement among these groups (high public servants, politicians, business men and professionals) that the higher bureaucrats were given preferential treatment to high status persons, that the majority of the respondents agreed that tribal loyalties have influenced to a considerable degree the public service.
4. Capitalist influences: The capitalist economy is one that negates the theory of collective ownership of means of production, distribution and exchange unlike the communist or the socialist ideology. In a capitalist economy, the situation is analogous to what Rev. Thomas Malthus remarked: “There is every tendency for all animated lives to increase beyond the nourishment for them. Therefore, in the struggle for human existence, life becomes a survival of the fittest.”
The public sector economy of Nigeria is operating within the framework of the above quotation. The “grab all” mentality of our public funds is assuming an unprecedented dimension. It is because of the wide gap created by the rich-poor dichotomy, the public financial officer sees his position as appropriate to make up the deficiencies. For example, a tax collector on GL5 will hate to see his classmate who drives a v-boot 200 cars whereas he walks about on foot. Even his families would make mockery of him for not taking advantage of his post.
5. Institutional inefficiency:
The greatest problem with our public sector accountability is the fact that the Government is often more interested in deicing appropriate punishment for fraudulent officers rather than formulating strategies for efficient accountability in our public organizations. Several panels for the recovery of public funds were set up [both past and recent] but no panel has been set up to study and recommend measures that would stem the tide of embezzlement in our public sector economy. There is even an opinion that pen robbery should attract the same punishment as armed robbery. My view in this regard is that the government should consider a strict measure for culprits rather than more recovery of these funds. An officer who used his pen to defraud the public should be seen in the same light as any other citizen who robbed his fellow with a lethal weapon. This is so because in any event the individual concerned has used the instrument within his reach to defraud the public.
Accountability or probity in the management of public fund is thus a pre-condition for economic development. no country can develop without prudent management can take place only if the public officers are disciplined and possess high integrity.
A disciplined officer is one who can control himself and others in the use of public resources. Among other things he must imbibe the ethics of financial probity, financial propriety and adhere to the principles of financial management.
2.6 THE PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
A number of public financial ethics have evolved support the need for adequate accountability in the management of public funds. These affirmative ethical principles include:
1. Independence integrity and objectivity:
This principle states that any officer placed in the position to oversee public finance should maintain his integrity and objectivity and when engaged in the practice of public accounting and when engaged in the practice of public accounting be independent of those he is serving. That he should possess the quality of being honest and morally upright. He should not break his promise no matter what happened. This principle also states that the public officer should maintain his objectivity. This means that he or she should free himself or herself from personal prejudice. The integri6y aspect should ascer6ain something like this: Do figures represent reality on what actually happened?
2. Include all proper transactions:
Here, emphasis is laid on the recording of the transactions. Every transaction must have its monetary figures or values on record. Hence, the need to include all the transactions that are proper from the viewpoint of generally accepted accounting principles, in figures. An example is, record all sales and deposit all receipts. Also the cost balance should be shown to make things look better for those you are serving, that is the public. The transactions must be vouched to ensure that there is sufficient evidence available to show its nature, reality and legality. Thus, given a proper and adequate account of the transactions.
3. Competence and technical standards:
Accountability concept demands that public officers should possess and then observe the professions technical standards, and strive continually to improve his competence and strive continually to improve his competence and the quality of his services. Moreover, since unpublished technical standards can never cover the whole field of accountancy, public officer must be broadly informed. The last ethic of public financial management dictate that officers who manage public funds should conduct themselves in such a manner as to enhance the statue of the profession and command respect of the public. The view is that accounting is a profession with a set of ethics and codes of conduct.
It is therefore a duty bond on officers not to dent the image of the profession by any act of instigation or impaired behavior. Rationality and openness in the recording and use of accounting information should be the cardinal rule.
These are the befitting qualities of not only the public financial manager, but also any public officer entrusted with public funds, property or resources.
2.7 ACCOUNTING DOCUMENT AND RECORDING TRANSACTIONS
A good accounting system should have financial books of the establishment where accounting records are kept. However, a sound accounting system must provide book of records that serves as common source of reference to which entries in the ledger could be checked. According to C.S. Ola (1986) it is necessary to employ a number of subsidiary books called “ book of prime entry or books of original entry” for the purpose of listing and classifying the various transactions as they occur. Some of these books are as follows:
1. Books of prime entry or books of original entry:
Books of prime entry or books of original entry contains all the financial facts relating to the business which must be first recorded in either the sales day book, purchase day book, cash book or journal before entries can be posted into the respective ledger accounts. These books are briefly explain as follows:
a. Sales daybook:
This book is some times called the sales journal or sales book in any going concern or organization, there is always a daily record of sales of goods on credit. Each entry shows the date of the sale, the name of customer and particulars of the goods sold, the amount of the transaction being extended into the money column of the book. In much business, it is found necessary to employ some method of sub-dividing the sales daybook in order to spread the work amongst several clerks of separate sales day book many be used on alternates day of the work. These methods ensure the ledger keeper records and post the sales of the previous day to the ledger accounts without impeding the daily duties of the invoice clerks. The local government will make use of this book in recording and posting of their generated revenue like payment permit of shops and stall, those on credit.
b. Purchase daybook:
This book is sometimes known as the purchase journal, bought journal or bought daybook or bough invoice book. It performs similar function to the sales daybook, but in respect of purchases of goods like in the local government, an analytical/purchase daybook is used similar in form of sales daybook. To ensure efficient and effective record of transactions of each purchase are entered in detail in the particular purchases daybook, and the amount is ported individually to the credit off the account of the supplier in the ledger. According to C.S. Ola (111986) within a specified period of time or periodical intervals the double entry is completed by posting the amount of the purchases accounts thereby achieving the same result as if each item had been posted separately to the account.
c. Cash Book: To ensure a good accounting system there must be proper and accurate cashbook where day-to-day transactions of the business are kept. According to B.G. Victory (1973) a cashbook is the book in which are recorded detailed particulars of all money received and paid. Cash book are mainly for transactions involving daily receipts and disbursements of each (including cheque receipts and payment(s). it is exceedingly correct to say that cash transaction are not journalized, and that the cash book of “original entry” in which all cash are entered as they occur. For the matter of almost necessity, receipt are entered on the debit side of cash book and subsequently posted to the credit side of appropriate accounts in the ledger, while payments are entered on the credit side of the cash book and are posted to the debit of the appropriate ledger accounts. This will enhance monthly reconciliation statement between its balances and those given by bankers as indicated in the monthly bank statements sent to the local Government.
d. Special journal or journal proper
The Journal (or as it is frequently referred to the journal proper, to distinguish it from special journals) is used foe the purpose of recording transactions, which, owing to their nature, cannot be entered in any other book of prime entry. The purchase of asset (as district from the purchase of goods for resales), the writing off of bad debts and depreciation, and the granting of special allowances, are typical of transaction, which in modern book-keeping are “journal”. It is however noted that any short of transactions could be recorded by journal entry and formerly it was the practice to pass all transaction through this book.. for proper accounting system and accountability, the amount entered in the debit column of the journal is posted to the debit side of the relative ledger account, and the amount in the credit column to the credit of the account indicated. A narration or explanation must be appended to every entry in the journal to explain its nature.
The main purpose of the journal weather it is a principal journal or a subsidiary one is to classify transactions into convenient groups so that time and labour may save postings to the ledger. Another justification for the use of journal of whatsoever is that the risk of omitting a transaction will be reduced, the possibility of errors irregularities or fraud can as well be reduced by demanding an explanation of all entries (B.G.Vickery 1973).
2. Books of supplementary entries:
The of these books primarily depends on the size, scope and nature of the enterprise or organization. More so, the activities undertaken alw determines the use of these books. These books are mostly kept by enterprise or industries or local governments that engaged in production. Like the local government is involved in the production of foods and artificial manure, the primary aim of these books is to analyze and summarized transaction for easy posting to the ledger accounts. Example of these books is registers that can be maintained for items like materials consumables issued from stores to productions, salaries and wages analysis book (B,G Victery 1973).
3. The ledger accounts:
the ledger is book of account which contains, in a suitable classified form, the final and permanent record of an organization or enterprise transactions. As already explained, the entries are first collected together into suitable groups in books of original entry, e.g. cash book, journal and day books and are posted there from, either individually or in total to the ledger accounts. (C.S. Ola 1986) ledger accounts are divided into two main classes viz.
a. Personal accounts or subsidiary ledgers:
These are ledger in which transactions are recorded in detail as they affect the persons with whom thee bbusss8iness deals. The division of the ledger will very according to the nature and size of the business. Personal accounts
or subsidiary ledger are divided into sales ledger or debtors ledgers and purchase ledgers, creditors ledgers. Sales ledgers or debtors ledgers contains records of customers carrying on business transactions with an organizations with an organization while purchase ledgers or creditors ledger contains records dealing with suppliers granting credits to the organization (R.J.Bull, 1984).
b. General ledger:
In most organizations, general ledger is considered as the real account that records all transactions passing through the entire accounting system. All items in form of revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and capital are summarized in the general ledger. This ledger is divided into two parts:
i. Impersonal ledger: It contains both real and nominal accounts e.g. machinery, discounts, etc.
Real accounts: It relate to things like cash, furniture, plant and machinery. (Fixed assets)
Nominal accounts: Relates to expenses and losses, profit and income e.g. wages, rent, sales, purchases and bad debts (C.S.Ola 1986).
ii. Private ledger: This contains all accounts of a private ordinary clerks should have access to it. This discloses the financial standing of the business, such as capital, profit and loss etc. however, may contain all types of accounts, such as capital account, drawing account, investment accounts, salaries accounts which are for the private eye of the proprietors or managers. To have a good accounting information, all account in the general ledgers must be balance up monthly for a trial balance to be extracted.
The importances of ledger to accounting system are broad. Most importantly, ledger serves as the final source from which the final accounts is prepared through which financial statement can be presented to the board of directors. To ensure a good efficient accounting system, ledger must be adequately maintained and entries accurately entered or made .
4. The trial balance:
The trial balance is merely a list of balances extracted from all of the various ledger accounts, such as cash account and bank account, and is designed to
i. Provide a mathematical check on the accuracy of the recording process.
ii. Act as a setoff “wording papers” to facilitate the preparation of the final accounts the trading, profit, and loss account and the balance sheet. It is necessary to test, as far as possible, the accuracy of the records from which they are complied. Otherwise the profit and loss account and balance sheet cannot be relied upon to disclose the true position.
Additional adjusting columns are normally provided in the original trial balance for purpose of adjustments. Trial balance is sometimes called worksheet. The balancing of a trial balance does not prove that the accounts are corrected. According to E. Bull, these errors include:
a. Errors of omission: This is where a transaction has been completely omitted from records.
b. Errors of principle: This occurs where an entry has been made in the wrong class of account. For instance, the furniture acquired by Mr.Chuks for N 30,000 was a long-lived asset, and classified as such in the furniture account. However, if this entry had been made in the purchases account an “expense” account. The trial balance would have agreed but contained a mistake of principle.
c. Errors of original entry: this is a situation where an entry has been made in the right class account but in the wrong account.eg .if C. Charwoman a debtor, owed N40, 000 in the account of Mr. Chucks would not be revealed by a trial balance, (that is posting of a wrong account, although to the right side of the ledger).
5. Final accounts:
Final accounts, is sometimes called total accounts. Where the ledger is subdivided and it is found that the trial balance extracted from the whole of the ledgers does not agree, the task of locating the error or errors may be long and tedious, unless some method is employed whereby the cause of the disagreement can be traced to a particular ledger or ledgers. This final account are then drafted from final trial balance which from the basis on which the accounts on financial statements are produced. This is the final accounts are used as the basis for both internal and external reporting.
As a rule final accounts includes:
a. Income statements
b. The balance sheet
c. Statement of source and application of funds
d. Value added statement.
Each of these can be briefly explained as follows:
6. Income statement:
This is sometimes called profit and loss account which according to schedule 2 (sec-B (6) (7) of Companies And Allied Matters Decree, (CAMD) 1990 “every profit and loss account of a company shall show the amount of the company’s profit or loss on ordinary activities before taxation and every profit and loss account of a company shall show separately as additional items. Any amount set side or proposed to be set aside to or withdrawn from, reserves and the aggregate amount of any dividends paid and proposed. The income statement of a company or enterprises should be disclosed and presented in a logical, clear and understandable manner. In preparing the income statement of a company or business enterprises the format as it was specified in schedule 2 (sec.c) of companies and allied matters decree (CAMD) 1990 should be strictly followed. Financial statements should be presented in logical, clear and understandable manner in order to assist users to assess the financial statements should show corresponding figures for the preceding period.
(c) THE BALANCE SHEE: The is a statement showing the assets belonging to an organization offset by it’s liabilities and shareholders finds . It’s function is to show the financial status of a business at that particular time. As a general rule and according to schedule 2 of companies and Allied matters Decree (CAMD) 1990 every balance sheet of a company shall show the items listed in either of the balance sheet formals set out in section c. A company’s balance sheet may include an item representing or recovering the amount of any asset or liability not other wise covered by any of thee items visited listed in the format adopted in schedule 2 under section c off companies and Allied matters Decree (CAMD) 1990, but the following shall not be treated as assets in any company ‘s balance sheet.
(i) preliminary expense
(ii) Expenses or and commission any issue of shares or debentures and
(iii) Research and development costs.
STATEMENT OF SOURCE AND APPLICATION FUNDS: This is one of the items of financial statement prepared by a company director. The profit and account gives information about sales minds the matching costs of sales in an accounting period for several reasons, it does not explain whether the size of the profit earned is big enough to provide sufficient funds to keep the business advent . To may business enterprises profit is important source of funds and these funds may be used to (1) buy new fixed assets
(ii) invert in stocks or debtors.
At the same time, profits are not only source of funds to a business. A company can raise more funds by issuing new shares or by raising a loan.
However , it states how a company or business enterprise gets it’s funds from and how these funds are their applied .Because neither the profit and loss account nor the balance sheet gives a satisfaction explanation of how a business obtains an douses it’s funds , the statement of change in financial position (offer called a funds flow statement) has method showing where a business gets it’s funds from and how these funds are their applied. In particular. It shows the extent to which profit have contributed toward the supply of funds, and it indicates whether a business is general enough funds to meet all it’s needs, or whether it might be in a position where it’s liquidity deterioveting ( and likely to deteriorate further in the further) According to J- Lydian (1993) another way cooking at funds flow statements is to say that it recon ales the amount off profit earned in a period of time with the increase or decrease in liquid funds during the same period;
(d) VALUE ADDED STATEMENT: As mentioned earlier, value added statement is one of the items of financial statement prepared by a company director. But, for private company , value added statement is not included in the financial statement prepared by the company director (CAMD,1990) A statement of rule added shows the weather or value created during the year by the activities of business enterprises and how this value is shared between those who contribute towards its’ creation, such as the employees, the providers of capital the state (government ) and the company for reinvestment .
One of the importance of the statement is to assist users in evaluating the economics performance of thee entry ass a whole . The statement may be distinguished from the profit and loss account which shows in effect the added value attributable only to those who provided the equity capital for the enterprise . the value added statements is useful since it draws attention away from profit figure which within two parts, dividends to shareholders and amounts distributed to the employees and the government .Often employees receive a high percentage of value added and the statement usefully emphasizes this point .However , the content is outline of a value added statement would b
(ii) Brought in materials and services
(iii) Value added (I&ii)
(iv) Employees’ wages , pensions and fridge benefits
(v) Interest on loans
(vi) Dividends to shareholders
(vii) Corporation tax payable
(viii) Amount retained in the business for investment.
Crucial conclusions emerging from the analysis of data in the foregoing revealed that the economy will not increase without the measures of objectivity of accountability in public sector of Nigeria. Inspite of the policies formulated for the achievement of this during the period, not much could be achieved, if not practiced in public administrative affairs.
In the introductory chapter hypothesis were formulated. These hypotheses were tested and revealed the following:
1. Ho: that a reduction in accounting measure has led to economic growth and development. This hypothesis was also accepted after testing. The reasoning behind this also lies in the fact that an increase in accountability has led to greater height of economic growth. If proper and increased rate of account by our public official if given. The economy will frown tremendously since every resource will be properly utilized for the purpose it is meant for, thereby making way for proper account of our scare resource, avoiding of wastages or squandering.
2. Ho: That an increase in accountability of public sector has led to increase in the economy growth and development. This hypothesis was tested and also accepted. The premise behind this is that the generated resource, revenue, fund and material are being rendered to the Government. Thus there is increase in investible funds and consequently increased in output. When output increases, GDP growth rate improve, making a better way of living for it’s citizens.
GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTING
In the introductory chapters, the researchers said that this study is partly theoretical and analytical in nature. Hence both scientific method of research was adopted and likewise the auditing method of executing a research which to the best of her knowledge is preferred taking into account, that accounting information and management decision procedure of the Local Governments under study. These certain information cannot and will not be subjected to the general approved form of statistical manipulation and calculation.
Hence, the Local Government system of account procedure, policies, manual financial arrangement, control and reporting, planning and performance evaluation will be discussed above. These will help us to understand their system of accounting and how effective it is and how it is affecting the general economy of the Local Government, state and nation at large.
4.4 DATA ANALYSIS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The general plan of the Nnewi North Local Government of Anambra State, Nigeria is the title of this study. As pointed out earlier. The Nnewi –North Local Government came into existence for over fifteen years, as one of the pioneer leading local government in Anambra State. It came into existence with division of Nnewi local government into two equal parts. This was in 1991, ever then, the local government has been noted for her broad and continued contribution to Nigeria’s economic progress. The local government’s objective include to engage efficiently, responsibly and profitably in any business venture in Nigeria, always seeking a high standard or performance and aiming to maintain a long term leadership position among other local government. To ensure efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out it’s functions in which it was established, the organizational structure (fig. 4.4) was duly considered and made operational by management.
4.5 ORGANISATION OF THE ACCOUNTS/FINANCE DEPARTMENT
From the organization structure (fig 4.5) the finance Department of Nnewi-North Local government of Anambra stat, it was observed that the finance department is divided into six (6) sections namely, legal, finance service, commercial services, controller, treasury and internal audit services. Each section performs distinct functions and responsible to the finance manager.
(a) Legal service: In order to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, the Nnewi-north local government had considered it important to incorporate legal department or services into her finance department. In legal services, litigation, inquiring and safety, criminal drafting and administration sections. The main function of legal services is to look into contract documents. It examines the contract terms and see whether it is in accordance with the local governments’ regulations of award of contracts before approval of such contract is made.
(b) FINANCE SERVICES: This section of finance department is charged with the responsibility of custodian of budget control of the Local Government. It is also responsible for the co-ordination of the production of the budget of the local government. However, there are four (4) sections in finance services namely:
Capital budgets operating budgets, management information and other sections. The head of finance services reports to the finance manager.
(1) CAPITAL BUDGET: This comprises money spent to develop road, construction of markets. It include only the expenditure on projects approved in the development plan and which can reasonably be expected to be started in the year of estimate or were started but not completed in previous year.
(2) OPERATING BUDGET: This comprises the cost of running the local government, the cost of maintaining or cost of improvement or extension to services. It also include the cost of the services of the people who work in the day to day operation of the company. It also include the local government pensions funds. To ensure efficiency, there are classes of accounts, each designated for particular expenses carried out, example:
class 5 for salary
class 6 for contracts
class 7 for materials
class 8 for sundries.
Class 9 for distribution and recovery of money or cost from other department that have charged expenses for the services.
However, every sponsor has cost center, there is always a code for each cost center and sponsor. To ensure accuracy and efficiency. The following were incorporated in the operating budget.
(i) ACCRUAL TASK FORCE: This is always every December or January. This is to help to know the current position of the local government and which should be vividly be stated. The main aim of accrual taskforce is to ensure that these accruals receive information and are prepared for payment. To ensure that nothing is overstated and understated at that end of the year. It also ensure that all transactions to into their various accounts. This is to ensure whether they are within budget or outside budget and which should be supported with reasons. Departments also send down their accruals for verification before payment is made for effective control and accurate reporting of its finances, the local Government tries to ensure that all information regarding to financial transactions are record in its books as and when they take place. Adequate provisions are therefore made for all liabilities (whether for goods delivered or services rendered for which payment has not been made). It is the provision for such unpaid goods and services that are referred to as accruals.
(ii) Resource base budgeting: This is to determine the need of a particular project, which aid in the bridging for that particular project. What resources are sponsors and users holding? Examples, canteen, material, source, motor vehicle, are classified as resources hold and controlled by sponsors. Each department identifies their major resources and who are the users of these resources. This is to ensure a realistic value of profit figure. All these are to meet the demand of the local Government.
(iii) Job ticket: This states the amount of work done the type of work and how much spent so far.
3. Management Information System (MIS):
This section of finance service coordinates and collect figures which has to do with budget in the department as a whole. Moreso, it takes variance of actual expenditure and bridgeted amount and find out why such variance has occurred. To ensure effective control and accurate reporting of finance information, the following are incorporated in Management Information System (MIS):
(i) Monthly performance review: The chairmen preside offer the presentation of monthly performance review of report and do justification for variance. To monitor the activities of each department in order to know whether there is under or over spending and advice where necessary. To know whether there has been effective control of the fund available.
(ii) Chief executive (chairman’s) Quarterly review: This is made up of heads of all department and each reports to the chairman, the performance of the local Government in terms of budgeted activity and programs. And, also the briefings should include the achievement of the budget of their various departments. All these are aimed at knowing whether each department has achieved their stipulated targets. The essence of this review is to ensure effective control and accountability of the local government expenditure and fund available.
4 Other services:
This is mostly found in local government. This is part of the general workers and services. It includes administration, maintenance of bui9ldings, water supply of the villages. The fire services and street lighting or extension of electricity supply in Nnewi-North local government
c. Commercial service: This section is mainly concerned with the award of contracts and material procurement. It is the duty of this section, of the finance department to ensure that the local government laid down rules and procedures in award of contracts, which are followed by each department. It is also the responsibility of commercial services to raise contract re-acquisition, to examine the modality of the award of contract to go through the list of the contractors and examine their past performance before printing final approval in award of any contact. This is to say commercial services is absolutely responsible for the selection of contractors oversees the process of award of contract and contract documents. The obvious advantages of incorporating commercial service into finance department are to monitor the award of contract, to incorporating commercial discipline (budget cover), to ensure uniformity and to enhance financial accountability from each department.
d. Controller: This section is headed by the financial controller. Under this section, they have finance accountant, general accountant, and material account. The primary duty of the controller is the custodian of the accounting principals and ledger accounts of the local government. Added to that, he administers the accounting system of the local government, control what goes into and out of the ledger. Moreso, it is the responsibility of the controller to raise debit note and record the transactions made.
e. Treasury section: Treasury is one of the sections is finavme department charged with the responsibility of providing treasury services to meet day-to day financial requirement of the local government operation and long term strategy. This section is also responsible for the keeping of the local government’s funds and makes the funds available when needed for the operation of Nnewi-North local government. Treasury section is made of namely: payment, banking and settlement payroll and finding sections .
(i) Payment section: This section is charged with the respos8iblity of receiving and processing suppliers or contractor’s invoices .The payment are highly computerized and registered into the system and there are most endence to prove that job done or completed has been contracted out before such payment can be enforce .The section sees to the approval of invoices and to ensure that the invoices are for the local government indicating the type or kind of job they rendered .in this section , the use of authority level is strictly adhered to authority level here implies that invoices should be approved by those responsible for the approval for the job rendered. However, for effective control and accurate reporting of its’ finance, invoices are batches and dispatched to controller who in turn send it for computerization controller, therefore, ensures that the accounts and valid, put them into the computer system. Payments are also computerize and made payable through banks and runs into times per week.
(ii) Banking and settlement: Banking and settlement performs a lot of financial functions. Some of these functions are to look at computer results, these by knowing the list of contractors to be paid. Before payment can be enforce , regrets letter based on the invoice authorization must have periodic basic . They also follow up any unreconialed items.to be presented if found correct and genuine, they now advice charge’ signatory. The section is responsible for bank reconciliation and produces management report on
(iii) Payroll section: This section is responsible for staff emolument which is highly accounted, computerized and based on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Which there is any change occurred it is the responsibility of the payroll section to effect the change.
(iv) The finding section: use for the running of the Nnewi North local government. The responsibility of this section includes the corporate treasury responsible for fund management (frm) investment cash source or resource to estimate the amount of money needed to run the local government operations.: this section prepares cash management
(f) Internal Audit section: This section works closely with controller and performs the function, which internal antidotes are by law o9r regulation bound to perform.
4.6 . THE NNEWI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S ACCOUNTING SYSTEM:
ACCOUNTING MANUAL/ FINANCE PROCEDURE GUIDE
Intuitively speaking, the local government has accounting Manual or finance procedure guide. The accounting guide or manuals explain (s) the details of accounting work and system. It is a daily guide in the performance of accounting work. Where there is double, one has to consult the accounting manual of the local government. The accounting manual enables staff to known the coding system of the accou8nt they are charging. like accounting manual, finance procedure quid are maintained by the local government which help to explain how a particular transaction should be treated, what document should be raised an who should authorize it. The essence of accounting manual finance procedure quid is to ensure effective and efficient accounting system.
Accounting code: Accounting code is made of discrete part, each part of the code is matched with some parts complete accounts code specifies which section or department spent a particular sum of money, what the money is spent on and at what period of time. For effective and efficient accounting system, whatever accounting code is installed, must have to be approved by the sectional heads or departmental head of finance service or other sectional head to gentian the instruction of hew accounting code and if the reasons given are genuine, it is therefore installed and made operational.
However, there is and overall accounting code structure for the local government. In order to facilitate the accounting system, accounting codes are subjected to period reviews and updating. This is to ensure that the accounting codes adopted or installed are filed for the proper accounting system. Another obvious reason why accounting code are periodically reviewed is to ensue that the accounting codes installed are suitable for the accounting system that is operational in the local government. Closely related to accounting code is the chart of account, which is the list of the entire code structure of the account the local government operates.
4.7. GENERAL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT
(a) Accounting records: The accounts and finance department of the local government maintained and kept the following set of accounting records.
(1) General ledger system: This is referred as APS (all payment system). This is a computerized ledger system contained many thousands of accounts showing the local governments transactions, which may be include invoice processing, materials actual budget. The ledger system gives the breakdown summary of all transaction of the local government which explains to the interested groups preferably the management, the performance of the local government, which are financially produced in naira values.
(2) Transaction listing: This comprises of listing of all transaction of sponsors on mostly bases, giving but by every entry that goes into the general ledger.
(3) Cost ledgers or operating expenditure listing: this records all expenditure made which are compare with the actual budget
(4) Other general ledger account records kept by the finance department of the local government comprises of invoice registers, payment voucher registers, material requisition note register, bank reconciliation statements, cash book, etc.
B Accounting procedures:
1. Cash receipts and disbursements: the process of invoice handling and of handling current account charges is supported by the receipts and disbursement and the current account systems respectively. Receipts and disbursement are demented and payments go to the bank and accounts are reconciled on month basis.
Currently, the receipts and disbursement (R.D)system supports the process of handling incoming and outgoing (Account Receivable)invoice. The current account system supports the process of account charges which is run in Nnewi-North local government. Both systems interface with the general ledger system.
(2) Payroll procedure: Payroll in the local government, which is solely handled by personnel department of the local government. It is also the duty of t6h personnel section of the local government to control and manage the payroll system. Payroll system indicates what are expected to be paid an allowance therein, if any. If there is any charge on payment, staff is informed and inputs are raised for the new system (payment). To ensure effective accounting system payroll repot is produced at the end of every month.
(3) Staffing of account: staff numbers are used to fill into the general ledger system. accounts are characterized by the activities handled by each staff (that is what type of staff or department and the work or activities he or she handles).
4.8 CONTROL AND REPORTING
(a) The Nnewi-North local government observes good internal control system in all her operations.
(i) Order and purchase of materials: The local government. The purchase if material a stick of measure in order and purchase of materials for the local government. The purchases of the local government materials are handled by the local government ‘s materials needed for the local government’s operation.
(ii) Acquisition, custody, use and disposal of assets: the processing and recording of materials or assets requisition imputes or documents are handle by assets section of finance department of the local government. The local government classifies her assets into: fixed and movable assets
Fixed Assets: The assets that can be easily transferred from one place to another , example, engine, etc. Before such transfer can take place , necessary forms have to be filed supporting the transfer or movement of the asset in question. That is for proper accountability there must be authority to9 more or transfer any asset of the local government. The processing of the papers of materials or assets purchased are entered in the ledger. This has to go into the finance system that is highly computerized. The local government maintains assets capitalization system. In this case , inputs are raised in order to capitalize the assets, which are grouped into the areas of various users or responsibilities . In order to have accurate value of the local government’s assets for purpose of annual financial accounts as well as fiscal report, it is necessary to have accurate records of assets held by the local government .
Hence at the end of September of each year, the list of all the assets held by the asset holders to confirm whether or not they still have the assets and ascertains whether they are still suitable for the local government operations, which are very sensitive. In a situation where a holder of the local government’s assets indicates that a particular asset is no longer suitable for the operation of the local government or indicate that a particular asset is no longer suitable for the operation of the local government or indicate that a particular ass is not damaged, the assets section of finance department will investigate on the non-suitability or the damage done on the asset before the asset can be written – off, assets holders have to complete the write-off proposal from which are returned to assets/capitalization section of the finance department along with the assets inventory for items which no longer exist or which are no longer suitable for the local government’s operations. It is the responsibility of assets section to send the write-off proposal form to assets write – off committee which is a high power committee made up of department heads. A date is fixed by them, writing the department heads to come and defend the assets proposed to be written-off. If the committee is satisfied with the defense, they can authorize or give the go ahead. the asset holder and returned to asset section in financial department and process into computer. Care should be observed to ensure that the description, asset number, date of acquisition value of the item to be written-off are entered exactly as they are in the latest copy of the assets inventory. Separate forms are completed for assets with different mode of disposal. Until finance-batches the write-off form to computer, the assets concerned will remain on the inventory.
As part of control, the local Government uses a straight line depreciation method in placing value of her assets at the end of the year. The assets inventory accounts reports the original value and the written down value. The local government review its assets from time to time (that is quarterly and annually).
To ensure that proper control is being exercise over the assets and the accounting records reflect the correct position of assets held by the local government, the chairman advise the department heads annually to carry out verification of assets under their control through circular captioned “control of fixed and movable assets”. This circular is usually issued during the first week of Departments are responsible for the control of the assets kept under his custody and he may dedicate others for the control and safe quads of asset. All departmental heads are requested by finance department to undertake a physical check of the local governments assets for which they are responsible. This is necessary to ensure that proper control is being exercised over assets and that the accounting records respect the correct position. Thus showing the time position of their economic development and growth in the year.
b. Internal reporting: There is internal reporting system that helps to facilitates the operational activities of the Nnewi –North local government. From time to time, management went to know the working performance or activities of all departments. As a rule, departmental heads are expected to present their report to management. Management is interested in knowing whether Departmental Heads are working according to local Government ‘s plan or budget. The management is also interested in knowing whether the departments are under or over spending their budget and questions are asked whichever is applicable, which will assist them in pointing out various variances.
The local government’s reports are presented in summary form for current month movement. This will enable management to know whether departments ;are under or over spending which can effectively be checked. If it is under-spending, adjustment voucher can be raised or mode. To check the internal Reporting system of the local Government, management adopted a lot of reporting system such as:
– Monthly performance review, which is practically meant fir report if actual expenditure against budget.
– Chief Executive Quarterly Review is used to check whether department have been able to achieve their targets, and the areas in which they are having problems.
(C) External reporting: Nnewi-North local Government reports and sent financial return to interested groups such as Federal government of Nigeria and mostly to Anambara state of Nigeria, to the inland revenu8e commission for the purpose of tax assessment which is basically statutory reports which lets the returns and ascertainment of the local Governments reported profit or loss.
4.9 PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
(i) PLANNING: The local Government maintains a uniform plan in performance of her business operations. The general planning of the business is being handled by management of high level who then design a system of communication to keep all levels of management staff and contractors completely informed on all developments in the local government which affect them. This is to enhance working information for management personnel so that the best possible action can be taken at the right time with respect to the functions and operation for which they are responsible.
(ii) PERFORMANCE EVALUATION: Having looked at the system of accountability in the local Government, the concept of responsibility accounting was introduced by the local Government. Each department was allocated a budget amount with target objectives. Budget are monthly, quarterly and annually compared with actual results and reports of variances we issued to respective departmental Heads. There is monthly performance review, which is presided over by the chairman of the local government, Mr. Francis Okeke and do justification for variances. If it were found that the variances was not as a result of the head of departments, management is collectively charged to derive such items of the budget.
5.0 FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS CONCLUSIONS
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Based on the date and report collected in this research the following were established.
Firstly, the researcher did observe that according records are kept which serves as a good source of information to the management and other users of the records. It was practically established that management accounting information system acts as pointers to the direction of the local Government which assist heads of departments and the chairman of the local government in reviewing their monthly, quarterly and annual performance and giving proper accountability.
It was observed that centralized accounting system was adopted while the entire working of the local government is decentralized thereby accelerating the pace of information dissipation.
The researcher observed that accrual accounting system and responsibility accounting are in practice. The aim of the accrual accounting system is to ensure that the accruals receive attention and to ensure that nothing is overstated or understated at the year. Moreover, for effective control and accurate resorting of it’s finances, invoice are batches and dispatched to controller who in turn will send it for computerization. In the priers of doing this, it was observed that the invoice processing system is cumbersome and time construing.
This was as a result of the excessive paper flow that is generated for treating transactions.
Furthermore, to facilitate the accounting system there was an overall accounting code structure for the local government which are subjected to periodic reviews and updating. It was also observed that the ensure that accounting system that are operational in the local government at any given point in time. However, it was observed that there is sound internal control system. In doing this, the local government maintains for their operation. There is always authority to other and purchase the materials.
The general ledger system is a computerized one, containing thousands of accounts showing the local government’s transactions which includes invoices processing, materials acquisition, etc which are direct to reflect the actual budget. It was observed that the process of handling invoke and current account charges are supported by the Receipts and disbursements and the current account systems respectively. It was also observed that receipts and disbursement are documented and payments goes to the bank and accounts are reconciled on monthly basis.
The Annual assets vindication Exorcise. This is always carried at every September. This is to have accurate value of the local government is assets for purposes of annual financial accounts as well as fiscal reports. This exercise has its’ short comings which shall be highlighted later on more over, for the purpose of ensuring an efficient accounting monthly performance review is incorporated into the local government’s accounting system. Added to monthly performance review, to check the internal reporting system of the local government management adopted a lot of reporting system. The researcher did observed that the account system, which is a highly computerized one, influences the success of management and chairman in evaluating departments’ level of performance and reaching decisions. Though there are shortcomings, such as lack of computer programmers and trained personals.
Based on the information gathered the guilty of local banking services places constraints on the timeliness of settlement, particularly the delay from Nnewi-North local government payment instruction to receipt of funds by the supplier. In terms of payment, the researcher did observer that before any payment is effected or made, there must be payment advice from the treasury section of the financial department who produces management report on periodic basis.
Though accounting procedure and system exists. The perinea problem is that some of the staff do not know the accounting procedure and system that exist in the local government. This may be as a result of either numerous procedures or system adopted or staff not properly trained on the accounting procedures and system and also on the concept, principles and practice involved in the discharge of their duties, for them to appreciate their duties and responsibilities assigned to them. Hence, they will not responsibility place a proper report of their actions white in the office.
In this research, an endeavor has been made to in discussion of accountability issue as a pre- condition or determinant factor, in the National growth and development.
White pertinent factors militating against accountability were discussed, this study posit that no meaningful place in any nation without disciplined public officers who can be accountable for their actions and behaviors and also for the resources under their care. A nations development and growth potentials are measured by the ability of its’ public officers level of accountability both while in the office and long offer they have left the office.
It has been shown that accountability in public sector is a pre condition for economic growth and development in Nnewi- North local government. It has been shown that efficient accounting system in the overall management is enhancing the efficient and effective use of the available scale resources and drastically reducing frequent reported cases of large-scale improprieties, malpractice’s and frauds in the local government.
More importantly, the researcher also observed that accounting and management system aid organizations coordination and control of human material reroutes towards the achievement of a predetermined objective.
Contractors, staff and management must involve themselves in ensuring efficient accountability system. There cannot be effective management design to establish a healthy relationship with the staff and to management. There should be highly degree of cooperation in management of duties. Therefore, to ensure efficient accountability, management needs accounting information’s in performance of their duties.
However based on the researcher reports and findings, he now recommends the following alternatives line of actions which he believe will be appropriate for accountability among public officers. They are as listed below:
The government should be more serious about accountability by coming-out adequate means of punishing corrupt public officers while adequate rewards and incentives be created for selfless dedication and disciplined public officers of highly integrity.
There should be a reorientation of public officers on the issue of accountability and the potential benefits accrued, if public officers are accountable and the accountable to the actions and resources entrusted to them. The reorientation can be carried out through public Lecture seminar’s and workshops lecture talk in government officers.
Highly placed public officers should govern by setting examples, so that these people under them can emulate.
We cannot talk of accountability while the highly placed public officers exhibits ‘grap .grap’ syndrorne and squander the public funds like tax payers funds .Accountability can be possible if both the leader and those that they are leading (the governed ) collahorately see is as a precondition for economic growth and development only there and then could the doctrine of Accountability would be able to hold in every facet of our public sector.
The government should re-examine the procures of distribution of nations wealth. This should be put into consideration in the sense that because of the wide gap created by the rich poor distorting , the public financial officer sees his position as appropriate to make-up the deficiencies especially when he sees his counter part doing things he cannot do.
Accountability should be seen as a societal problem which is in correlation with our value system, therefore the government should create awareness through the media of the seriousness of the problem to the national growth and development and through the electronic media angles inform the public of the need for accountability in the public sector.
Accountability can also be attained by the introduction of management by techniques (MBO) in the public sector such techniques can assist in setting standards by which performance can be evaluated. The lack in the public sector gives the public officers coopholds for indiscisplinarry behaviors.
There is the need for management to look into an extensive generation of devilments to avoid bureaucratic way of invoice handling. There should prerequisite for devolution of invoice handling too functional line units which is an sound organization under pinned by internal controls which support effective processing of invoices.
The attitude of the verifiers during assets verification should be charged. The verifiers do not take the pains to actually verify the physical existence of their assets.
There should be effective monitoring of staff in carrying out this exercise and adequate penalties should be applied to staff who indulged in wrong verification exercise.
Accountability will improve if those in positions will stop being partial during employment process some of the public financial officers are not qualified for the post but because they have gods father in that field, they are given the job, thus they are not accountable to the funds and other resources entrusted to them. So if this attitude of top officers in the public sector is examined well by their superiors, accountability in the public sector will improve.
The study showed that major board appointees lack the required time frame to enable them translate the strategic goals of organizations into reality. If the attitude of changing officers in an office regularly should be minimized, so as to enable the officer do his work efficiently and effectively.
Though the local Government keeps accounting records, but some of her accounting records are in computer from which to some extent does not enhance efficient and effective accounting record keeping. In most cases, this system is not reliable computer breakdown may lead to loss of information stores; if not stored in disc.
Accounting procedure and system exists. The problem is that some of the staff do not know their accounting procedure and system that are in operation in the Local Government. The staff should be educated on the accounting procedure, system, and also on the concepts, principles and practice involved in the discharge of their duties, for them. The finance or accounting department should be run by professional of high management and accounting skill. His ability to organize business transactions accurately and produce the necessary result is very retained to suit the various industrial programme in various departments. Accounting/finance department should have adequate facilities for effective operation. Good quality personnel should be attracted into this department to ensure that accountability is maintained. Enough motivation should also be given for efficiency.
Finally, for the aforementioned alternative lies of action to be successful it is necessary for management who are in charge of corporate planning to embark upon policies to educate the staff, contractors and other that directly or indirectly work in the local government on the necessity for them to adhere to all principles, procedures and systems, knowing that it is only through same that efficiency can be enhanced or improved and at the same time drastically reduce frequent reported cases of large scale malpractice and frauds in the local government’s loss margin leading to a colossal profit.
All there will no doubt enhance accountability in public sector and in turn improve the economic and department in Nigeria.
When does Nnewi – North local government of Anambra State come into existence?
Fifteen years ago
Twelve years age
Ten years age
Does the accounting system run management accountability?
What is your rank/status in the organization?
Does Nnewi – North Local Government work accounting Management Responsibility function?
What are the objective of accounting management?
To educate and encourage the individual
To advise the management in the Local Government
In the role of efficiency there are classes of account that are designated for particular expenses.
Class 5 for salary
Class 6 for contract
Class 7 for material
Does the local government ensure efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out its function?
Do you surprise the project of accounting information to ensure efficiency and effectiveness?
If Yes to No, how do you supervise the accounting work and report?
By reviewing their book o0f account annually
By ordinary annual audit report
By standing their report and account every month
Does the local government ensure proper accountability by those in-charge officials?
If Yes or No, how do you ensure proper accounting and reporting?
By the means of chairman’s guarterly report review
By the means of monthly performance review
By ordinary demanding of the report, not minding whether it is sent or not
12. What is the means of evaluation of performance of duties in your department?
Accountability In Public Sector – A Pre-Condition For Economic Growth And Development In Nigeria:
(A Case Study Of N Nnewyi-north Local Government Of Anambra State)
To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.