ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has set a deadline for ministries to start using approved government bank accounts to make payments — part of his drive to stamp out corruption — after some offcials were slow to comply.
Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said all receipts due to the government or its agencies must be paid into the Treasury Single Account, which is maintained by the central bank and linked to other government bank accounts, by Sept. 15 or officials would face “sanctions”.
The new accounting system was introduced last month to end the use of several different accounts for government revenues, which officials fear has led to the loss of funds in the past.
A presidency source said a low level of compliance to adopt the new system had prompted the directive.
“The president said the head of any ministry or agency that does not comply by the deadline will be relieved of their appointment,” said the source, who did not want to be named.
Buhari took office in May after being elected on promises to fight the endemic corruption and mismanagement of public funds in Nigeria that he believes has led to $150 billion being stolen from state coffers over the past decade.
He has said his government intends to trace and recover what he called “mind-boggling” sums of money stolen from the oil sector, which provides about 70 percent of government revenues in Africa’s biggest crude producer.
Reporting by Felix Onuah, Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram, Editing by Angus MacSwan