PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTING ITS AFFECT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA
One of the most researched and least understood variable public sector accounting is how the accountability and stewardship of financial control is conducted. Scholars have been speculating on how the funds generated are managed but now researchers have conducted systematic investigation of funds and leakages in local government revenue system. Even with this, there is still an increasing difficulty and doubts in establishing the fact that the generated revenue is put to good use. There is also an evaluation of the source of revenue to the local government and the impact of the financial control system in the local government revenue system particularly, the revenue collection points where all derivable revenue are kept for safe custody. The researcher designed a research instrument known as PSAFCSDP by acronym for public sector accounting financial control system descriptive questionnaire, which is made of hypothetic questions. The instrument and interview questions were formulated and tested for validity before dispatching to the chosen sample populace. A stratified sampling technique was used for this study and sample is made up of both male and female staff of the local government area. The data collected were analysed and from the analysis there on, the researcher was able to reach the following funding and concluded that there is grant from federal and state to the local government area. There is also a basket leakage in the collection of local government revenue. It was also conducted that the local government were not able to employ their resources in finding their projects due to political and selfish influence and more so inadequacies in fraud misappropriation and other leakages of public funds. There is however, poor motivation of workers as a result of the God-father syndrome and swapping the laid down local government administration set up to an avenue of political judgment attitude for collection of revenue and work generally. Based on these funding, the following recommendation are made. There is urgent and paramount need for the federal government to appoint an external auditor to audit the local government accounting system. The day-to-day activities and the actions of the local government should be closely monitored and regulated by the federal government to ensure that there is sources accountability, stewardship and adequate financial control system. Local government should adopt affection planning control measures and adhere to budgeting and budgetary control procedures instead of dividing itself with practical politics and bringing God father, son system in the local government system. The researcher strongly believe that his recommendation will go along way in establishing proper financial control and improves the performance of the local government system in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Public sector is that sector of the economy established and operated by government or agencies distinguishable from the private sector organized on behalf of the whole citizens.
The public sector is devised despite the privatization and commercialization of some government agencies and parastatals; the sector is still large. Almost all the activities in the public sector have to do with political choice, which plays a vital role in resource allocation and its government accounting. It is also defined as composite activities of collection, analyzing, recording, summarizing, reporting and interpreting the financial transaction of government units. The government either provides services on natural scale or else redistributes funds, which are managed on semi-autonomous basis. In Nigeria for instance, public sector accounting is based on the principal of fiscal federalism. This implies that the fiscal structure of the government is a reflection of its federal and political structure. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is made up of three levels of government namely Federal, State and Local governments otherwise known as the three tiers of the political structure. All the three tiers of government are guided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from which the government decides on who gets what and how. Allocation of resources to the three tiers of government is granted and this is executed through the process of budgeting. Unique thing about public sector accounting is that legal instruments demand and limits the form the financial statement should take; many a time they follow budgeting classification. In public sector, we have the federal government accounting, state and local government accounting respectively. The accountings in the federal and state level are the same in that both are made up to the same ministries, parastatals, agencies and departments.
The 1976 local government reforms and the 1988 implementation guideline on application of civil service reforms in local government service established a standard or uniform multi-purpose single tier government structure throughout the federation, consequently, each local government account system is a replica of the other in terms of personal position and functions accounting system. Financial information flow, budgeting and budgetary control system approved source of revenue and general administration significantly, a local government is allowed only six departments viz: Personnel, Works and Housing, Transport, Health and Social Welfare, Education, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Financial and Supplies, Planning Research and Statistical Department, out of the six departments, only the finance department headed by the local government treasurer is authorized to collect and keep all the revenue.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
One of the most researched and understood variables of public sector accounting in the accountability of their financial control system, people have been speculating on how the funds generated are managed. Only in recent years have researchers conducted a systematic investigation that yielded useful insight into the funds accountability.
The problems they have are:
(a) Whether the source of revenue available to the local government authority is enough for them.
(b) There is doubt that revenue generated is put into good use.
(c) This is misappropriation and leakage of revenue in the local government.
(d) A time public doubt if the means of revenue collection is flexible or not.
(e) An insight will be given into the impact of financial control in local government development.
(f) There is a particular concern on how the public finance is controlled.
Conclusively, this feasibility study of the financial control system of local government will critically make an assessment of the methods used by the chairmen and accounting officers in embezzlement of public funds.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this research public sector accounting, its effect on the performance of local government in Nigeria Nsukka local government financial control system in Enugu)
The specific objectives of this research work include the following:
(b) To investigate and expose how and where local government money leakage in their internally generated revenue and collection process.
(c) To determine also the problem facing local government in the control and management of public fund.
(d) To recommend strategies by which local government can detect and prevent revenue leakage.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will be of great important basically to five groups such as the local government area under study, other local government areas, the readers, future researchers and the researcher himself as enumerated below.
(a)The work is of importance to the researcher because this study is an academic exercise and part of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy Department by the Enugu State Universty of Science and Technology, [ESUT].
(b)For other local government areas with related problems of financial accounting officers to be aware of how to manage and control the funds of the public without being questioned in the course of accountability.
(c) The research if this project will be able to have profound knowledge of how revenue generated is managed and why there is leakage of the generated revenue.
(d)It will help the local government area under study as a corrective device after their area of deficiency have been highlighted with regard to the generated and management of public funds.
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
A hypothesis is an intelligent guess or a conjectural statement of the relationship between two or more variables. Hypothesis is formulated in this research work to provide an avenue to the solution to a research problem.
For the purpose of this study, I wish to test as follows:
Hi: there is a significant impact of the financial control system in the development of Nsukka local government.
Is there any fund leakage in the financial control system of Nsukka local government area.
Ho: there is no fund leakage in the financial control system of Nsukka local government area.
Ho: there is fund leakage in the financial control system of Nsukka local government area.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research work has the following scopes and limitations. The study could have generalized to the local government in Nigeria but due to certain factors, the researcher now decided to particularize the study to a particular local government area Nsukka local government area.
Secondly, some to the officials are not approachable and even when the researcher is opportune to interview them, there were bound to be shortcoming arising from basis, misinformation and deliberate distortion of facts by them.
Other factors include:
(a)Short of finance
(c)Lack of research facilities
As a result of all these constraints this study has been limited to Nsukka Local Government Area only.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
(a) Financial Regulations: these are written rules laid down by most authorities to regulate their finance.
(b)Fund: A specified amount of money raised for a particular purpose.
(c) Public sector: This is that aspect public economy and expenditure made by the government once in a year.
(d)Public Accountability: This means that the persons charged with, determines drafts and carries out policy in the central government.