Public budgeting as a field of study has grown tremendously in recent years. Budgeting is one of the most important areas in policy making as it sets priorities within overall spending limit so as to influence the economy and enhance development. The issue of budget implementation has been a source of concern to the public considering its importance on economic growth. The study therefore examined how application of Forensic accounting techniques can help in providing solutions to the problem of misappropriation, over budgeting, uncompleted projects, diversion of unutilized funds in Federal government budget implementation.
A descriptive/survey design was adopted for the research. The elements of the population considered in this research were staff of Federal Ministries and Parastatals in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Sample representatives included: Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independence Corrupt Practices Commission, Federal Ministry of Statistics, Federal Ministry of Works and Nigerian Prison Services. A 20 item questionnaire was used to collect information from respondents.
The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics on specified panel regression model. Five research questions and five hypotheses were tested. Findings revealed that Investigative and auditing support service, Litigation support service and Expert witness have collinear effect and movement to solve identified problems in Federal government budget implementation in Nigeria. Results revealed that the coefficient of determination was 75.5% which means a sign of good fit that Investigative and Auditing Support Services, Litigation Support Services, and Expert Witness have positive relationship in solving the problem of poor budget implementation.
Based on the findings it was recommended that Forensic accounting techniques should be put in place to monitor Federal government budget implementation. Also there should be timely presentation of budget and approval while periodic report and review on budget implementation should be addressed by the Executive and Legislative arms of government so as to curb cases of misappropriation, over budgeting, uncompleted projects, diversion of unutilized funds and the role of the anti-graft agencies should not be undermined.
Keywords: Forensic Accounting, Budgetary System, Forensic Accounting Technique.
Word Count: 350
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents vii
List of Tables ix
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
- Background to the Study 1
- Statement of the Problem 4
- Objectives of the Study 8
- Research Questions 8
- Hypotheses 9
- Rationale for the Hypotheses 9
- Significance of the Study 10
- Justification of the Study 11
- Scope and Delimitation of Study 12
- Operationalization of Variables 13
- Definition of Key Terms 14
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.1 Conceptual Framework 16
2.1.1 Concept of Budgeting 16
2.1.2 Concept of Budgetary Procedure and Implementation in Nigeria 17
2.1.3 Concept of Forensic Accounting 21
2.1.4 Crimes in Implementation of Federal Government Projects 22
2.1.5 Evolution of Antigraft Agencies and their Functions 24
2.2 Theoretical Framework 27
2.2.1 Budgetary Theory 27
2.2.2 Theories of Forensic Accounting 29
2.3 Empirical Framework 33
2.3.1 Investigative and Auditing Support Services on Over Budgeting and 34
2.3.2 Investigative and Auditing Support Services on Misappropriation of 35
2.3.3 Investigative and Auditing Support Services in Eradication Uncompleted 37
Projects despite full Disbursement
2.3.4 Litigation Support Services in Improving Efficiency of Anti-Graft 38
2.3.5 Expert Witnessing in Eradicating Diversion of Unutilized Allocated Funds 39
2.4 Gaps in the Study 41
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design 44
3.2 Population 44
3.3 Sample Size 45
3.4 Sampling Technique 45
3.5 Method of Data Collection 46
3.6 Instrument for Data Collection 46
3.7 Administration of Research Instrument 47
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 47
3.9 Reliability and Validity of Research Instrument 47
3.10 Ethical Consideration 48
3.11 Model Specification 48
3.12 Apriori Expectation 50
3.13 Model Evaluation Technique and Test of Significance 50
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSES, RESULTS AND
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Demographic Characteristics of Respondents 51
4.1.1 Analysis of Respondents Profile 52
4.1.2 Analysis of Respondents Responses/Descriptive Analysis 55
4.2 Testing of Hypotheses 68
4.2.1 Test of Hypothesis (H01) 68
4.2.2 Test of Hypothesis (H02) 70
4.2.3 Test of Hypothesis (H03) 72
4.2.4 Test of Hypothesis (H04) 74
4.2.5 Test of Hypothesis (H05) 76
4.3 Test of Main Model 78
4.4 Discussion and Implication of Findings 80
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
5.1 Summary 84
5.1.1 Summary of Findings 84
5.2 Conclusion 86
5.3 Recommendations 86
5.4 Limitation of the Study 87
5.5 Suggestion for Further Study 87
5.6 Contribution to Knowledge 88
Budget expenditure allocation and average implementation percentage 3
(2004-2013) in Nigeria
Compilation of various literatures reviewed and the gap found in the Study 41
Delay in the preparation and presentation of budget for approval to Legislature arm 55
of government represents effect of over budgeting and appropriation
Investigative and Auditing Support Service on over budgeting and appropriation of 56
public funds during the preparation of the Federal government budget
Investigative and auditing support services can militate against budgetary fraud during 57 preparation and execution of Federal government budget preparation and execution of Federal government budget.
Economic and financial crimes have negative effect on budget preparation in 58
Federal Government budget indicate the cost and scope of capital and 59
developmental projects needed in the nation
Capital and developmental projects are not monitored by stakeholders in Federal 59
Personnel needed for supervision of capital and developmental projects are not 60
adequate in Public sector
Investigative and Auditing Support Services help in the reduction of 61
misappropriation of budgeted allocated funds in Public sector
Federal government budgeted allocated funds are not fully implemented in 61
the Public sector
Formulation of favorable governmental fiscal policy on budget implementation 63
can help in the prevention of uncompleted capital and developmental projects
Anti-graft agencies require periodic report on budget implementation in Federal 63
Litigation Support Services can help in improving the duty of anti-graft agencies in the 65 eradication of budgeted allocated funds in Public sector
Forensic accounting techniques help to obtain a good litigation support service to 65
militate against economic crimes in unutilized allocated funds
Reduction in budgetary crimes can lead to increase in economic growth of 66
Expert witness in litigation can eradicate the diversion of unutilized allocated funds 67
in Public sector
Public budgeting as a field of study has grown tremendously in recent years and budgeting is one of the most important areas in policy making. Budget in the Public sector in Nigeria is a yearly affairs but with poor results as shown by various scholars. The issue of budget implementation according to Oke (2012) has long been a source of concern to the public when one considers its importance on economic growth and development in the nation. However, he stressed further that budgeting has raised challenges in the area of preparation, administration, supervision, monitoring among others, due to change in policy and governance. Ekeocha (2012) opined that through budget, government indicates what to spend, determines what to borrow, and sets policy priorities within overall spending limit so as to influence the economy.
There are various definitions to the term budget but a few of these definitions are examined in this study. Samuel and Wilfred (2009) defined budget as a ‘comprehensive document that outlines what economic and non-economic activities a government wants to undertake with special focus on policies, objectives and strategies for accomplishment that are substantiated with revenue and expenditure projections’. Hellriegel, Jackson and Slocum (1991), also described budgeting as a process of categorizing proposed expenditures and linking them to goals. According to Stoner, Freeman and Gilbert (2008) budget is described as ‘a formal quantitative statements of the resources set aside for carrying out planned activities over stipulated periods of time’. They asserted that the wide usage attached to it is the fact that it is stated in monetary terms which makes it easy to compare dissimilar activities and their profit – loss potentials.
Ojo (2013) posits that in budgeting, government usually forecast how much can be generated and the spending pattern from all sources available to them. Omolehinwa and Naiyeju (2013) observed that budget in the public sector is a document or a collection of documents that refers to the financial conditions of the government. They further stressed that budget provides indication of revenue flow and that public sector budget is used as an instrument to allocate public resources towards achieving some basic amenities and values. Hence they observed that public decisions must therefore weigh the cost of action against the worth of the activity to society.
In spite of budgeting, Nigeria is still at a cross road in terms of infrastructural development across the states of the Federation. Ojo (2013) corroborates earlier submission made by Ahmed (2010) that basic amenities are still lacking in the country in the areas of health, road, education, transportation, electricity, water etc., thus affecting the welfare of the citizenry. It is important to note that in spite of the oil boom, many Nigerians still live in abject poverty, the value of the naira has fallen drastically and the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira is very high. Ahmed (2010) further stressed that the effect of poor planning and execution of budget cannot be ruled out as one of the reasons for the lingering poverty level in the country.
Oke (2013) posited that the issue of budget implementation has been a source of concern to the public considering the important impetus of budget implementation on economic growth. Onike (2012) observed that by half of 2011, the impact of the ₦4.8 trillion budgets was yet to be felt in the fiscal year because the budget was not up to 75% implementation. He stressed that capital budget which is a source of funding capital projects has direct impact on the lives of the citizenry but was not implemented. He stated further that practically every year the implementation of budget had been a source of friction between the executive and the legislature.
He stressed further that it is not surprising that the Federal government did not implement the capital project as expected in 2012. Oke (2013) on the other hand observed that budgeting and its process remain problematic in the area of preparation and implementation. He noted that there is the need for adequate control aimed at improving effective resource utilization at the budget implementation stage. He reiterated that budget implementation has significant impact on the performance of the economy. Ugoh and Ukpere (2009) observed that the poverty level of most Nigerians in both rural and urban areas is very high. They noted that this might be due to poor budget implementation and the interference of both Federal and State governments. Ezeagba and Adigwe (2015) in table 1.1 below observed that budgetary implementation has dwindled in the country for over a decade. They observed further that an average implementation percentage of disbursed recurrent and capital expenditure between year 2004 and 2013 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Report varies. The table 1.1 below presents the budget expenditure allocation and average implementation level between years 2004 to 2013.
Table 1.1: Budget Expenditure Allocation and Average Implementation Percentage (2004 – 2013) in Nigeria (N Billions)
|Budget||RE Exp||CA Exp||Total||AI%|
Source: Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Reports (2014) as cited in Ezeagba and Adigwe (2015)
Key: RE = Recurrent Expenditure; CA = Capital Expenditure; AI% = Average Implementation Percentage; *= Not indicated in the source
One may need to ask the following questions -why was the budget not totally implemented? What happened to the unexpended money? What were the reasons for this action or inaction despite full disbursement of fund? What roles are the anti graft agencies playing to stop this menace in the country? Given this premise the issue of budget implementation should be given serious consideration.
Dada (2013) describes Forensic accounting as the special practice area of accountancy that describes engagements resulting from actual or anticipated disputes and litigation. Forensic accounting according to him is based upon scientific detection, interpretation and communication of evidences through a thorough investigation of books and records of an accounting system. He stressed further that it is considered to be an independent professional judgment, which can deliver findings as to accounts, inventories, or the presentation thereof that is of such quality and that would be sustainable in some adversarial legal proceeding, or within some judicial or administrative review. Forensic accounting according to him focuses on both evidence of economic transactions and reporting which is as contained within an accounting system, and the legal framework which allows such evidence to be suitable to the purpose(s) of establishing accountability and valuation. Forensic accounting according to Houck, Mary-Jo, Bonnie-Morns, Riley, Robertson, Wells (2006) includes accounting, auditing and investigative skills to assist in legal matters while American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) cited in Houck et al (2006) defined forensic accounting as the application of special skills in accounting, auditing, finance, quantitative method, law and research. They stressed further that it encompasses litigation support, investigation and dispute resolution. This implies that forensic accounting is the intersection between accounting, investigation and the law.
Ribadu (2005) opined that laws relating to economic and financial crimes, criminal and penal codes are empowered to enforce all the anti- corruption and anti-money laundering laws which in turn lead to the punishment prescribed in the EFCC Establishment Act (2000). This ranges from payment of fine, forfeiture of assets, imprisonment up to five years depending on the nature and gravity of the offence. The mandate of ICPC in line with the Act setting it up according to him is to prohibit and prescribe punishment for corruption, fraud, embezzlement, bribery and forgery perpetrated by Nigerians.
Ribadu, (2005) further posited that cases of fraud are prevalent in the Public sector in Nigeria and that every segment of the public service seems to be involved in one way or the other. Despite all the efforts of the government and its agencies, it is very clear that the rate of corruption in Nigeria is very high. Adegbie and Fakile, (2012) posited that Forensic accounting is found to be the best antidote to combat both economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
Scholars such as Omolehinwa (1989), Ughor and Ukpere (2009), Ezeagba and Adigwe (2015) among others have observed that there has been poor implementation of budget and diversion of unspent budget disbursement by government officials in Nigeria. They however noted that if implementation of budget in the Public sector is properly addressed it will lead to creation of wealth through employment generation, improvement in citizen’s welfare, enhancement of price stability and acceleration of the provisions of infrastructure needed to boost the economy of the nation. Faleti and Myrick (2012) observed that a number of visible bottlenecks are associated with budget implementation; they include non-release, partial release or delay in the release of approved funds for budgeted expenditure. They stressed further that sometimes funds allocated for a particular quarter are made available only at the end of that quarter which make budget implementation difficult. The study, therefore examined the extent to which budget was implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria between years 2009 to 2015 and how Forensic accounting techniques can be used to resolve problems that may arise from poor budget implementation in the Public sector.
Budget implementation is an important tool of a functioning government. The issue of budget implementation has been of great concern to Nigerians. In the education sector for instance, Bamiro and Adedeji (2010) observed that the National Universities Commission (NUC) coordinates the budget of all Federal Universities based on the template provided by the budget office. The issue of budget implementation in territory institutions for instance is the responsibility of the heads of institutions and their governing councils. As cited in Bamiro and Adedeji (2010), the amount released for capital projects to Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education between 2006 and 2008. According to them in year 2006, the amount released for capital projects to the Universities was ₦6,412,015,000, in year 2007 ₦8,285,015,000 was released while in year 2008 ₦13,958,579,185 respectively. To Polytechnics, in year 2006 the fund released for capital projects was ₦2,164,746,264, in year 2007 ₦2,424,746,264 was released while in year 2008 ₦3,578,057,860 was released respectively. To Colleges of Education, in year 2006 ₦3,063,175,000 was released, in year 2007 ₦4,991,020,000 was released while in year 2008 ₦2,883,329,309 was released for capital projects. The amount released for capital projects according to them amounts to 10.7% of the total allocation to the tertiary institutions. The amount though too small, yet calls for questioning. Were capital projects implemented, funds unutilized or diverted considering the deplorable conditions of our tertiary institutions? This is one of the issues that this study investigated.
Another issue that calls for our attention is that of appropriation. Bamiro and Adedeji (2010) gave the following as the money appropriated for the funding of the Universities from 2004 – 2008. Between year 2004-2008, the amount budgeted was not indicated by them but the amount appropriated and amount released to the Universities were indicated. In year 2004, ₦53,024,557,482.61 was appropriated but ₦53,466,287,486.01 was released, though with slight difference observed. In year 2005, ₦62,215,631,536.00 was appropriated but ₦58,275,967,608.72 was released. The difference observed in the amount appropriated and amount released was wide but in year 2006, ₦82,376,685,198.00 was appropriated but ₦82,376,684,290.00 was released with very low marginal difference. In year 2007 there was no difference from the amount appropriated and the amount released, ₦90,565,259,337.00 was appropriated but ₦90,565,259,337.00 was released and equally in year 2008 the amount appropriated was the same as the amount released which was ₦105,751,671,988.00.
From the analysis, the actual money budgeted was not known but in years 2004, 2005 and 2006 there were differences between the appropriation and the money released. One wonders what happened to these funds; were they misappropriated, over budgeted or unutilized? These were issues of concern that this study also investigated.
Onuba (2013) reported that the Federal government released ₦400 billion for capital projects in the year 2013. He noted that the Finance Minister in that year, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala reported that ₦497 billion was allocated to key infrastructures, including Power, Works, Transport, and Aviation, Gas Pipelines, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Human Capital Development while Education and Health were allocated ₦705 billion and ₦175 billion was allocated to Water resources and Agriculture. He reiterated further that the Finance Minister then stressed that “Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit remains one of the binding constraints to growth in the economy so 2013 budget made provision for aggregation of expenditure of ₦4.987 trillion.” Onuba (2013) however noted that in spite of this huge money, it is pathetic to note that the impact of the money was not felt in the nation’s economy as many Nigerians are still unemployed and infrastructures needed for growth and development are nothing to write home about in spite of the former Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala’s submission during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The issue of uncompleted project is another grey area that this nation is suffering from. Woka and Miebaka (2014) observed that there is incessant and prevalent abandonment of developmental projects in the country. These they observed is alarming as it creates negative effects on the economy as a whole. They highlighted the following as some of the reasons for the uncompleted projects –improper monitoring and supervision of the projects, poor budget implementation, improper project timing, inappropriate allocation and inconsistency in government policy.
Nnodim (2014) reported that the power sector in the country is facing some challenges. He noted that ‘‘the contractor handling the three key National integrated power projects, Messers Rockson Engineering Ltd failed to meet the stipulated targets that would ensure the commissioning of the plants by the third quarter of 2014’’. This act according to the then chairman of Public Telecommunication Facility Program (PTFP) Dagogo Jack stated it would make Nigerians “to suffer short fall in our power supply projection as much as 1.200 MW”. It is not surprising that Nigerians are still battling with the issue of electricity.
Similarly, Shaibu (2012) observed that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC) which took off in 2000 with the intention of enhancing economic activities in the Niger Delta is bedeviled with issue of uncompleted projects. Developmental project in the area according to him include road construction, bridges, classroom blocks, health facilities etc. A tour made to the project sites in 2012 by the Senate Committee on Niger Delta according to him attested that about ‘‘50% of the projects awarded in 2009 by the commission were at various stages of completion even years after being awarded. Some of the projects had only 22% completion according to the commission’’. He stressed further that the previous Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Ameachi in 2012 observed that the entire Niger Delta was replete with uncompleted projects which did not justify the huge amount of money pumped into the region.
From these submissions it is obvious that the Federal Government have many uncompleted projects which may be as a result of poor budgetary implementation, dwindling revenue from the Federation Allocation due to the drop in the oil revenue, poor monitoring and supervision among others. Doki, Alhassan and Atonko (2014) observed that the former FCT Minister – Bala Mohammed, said over ‘‘₦470 billion is needed to complete some national priority projects in Abuja, many of which have been long overdue for completion’’. Because of the huge number of uncompleted projects in the country, Nigeria is faced with various challenges affecting the nation’s economic growth. The nation is stricken with underdevelopment, corruption, unemployment among others and the extent to which budgeted allocated funds are utilized is yet to be ascertained. Given these problems, the impact of budgetary failure in Nigeria and ways of improving the anti-graft agencies to ensure successful budget implementation in Public sector were discussed.
Bode (2009) observed that in Nigeria, the law stipulates that accountability reports be produced by public and other persons entrusted with National resources. The reporting of the accounts is instituted and dictated so that the accounts are made up as the government would desire, but the extent to which reports are given on budget implementation calls for our attention as this gives room for sharp practices in government circle. It is therefore not surprising that Emechele (2009) and Eme (2010) opined that Nigeria is a corrupt nation, where the wealth of the nation is being regarded as a national cake and every official has a target of the amount to steal, thus leading to lots of irregularities in governance.
In spite of the corruption evident in Public sector and the nation in general Ribadu (2009) stressed that the EFCC is a remarkable anti-crime organ in Nigeria and has recorded successes, convicting and sentencing individuals, including men in high places, who have been involved in economic and financial crimes. Adegbie and Fakile (2012) observed that the EFCC had convicted 200 people for corruption, money laundering, bank fraud, and advance fee fraud. Alipius (2009) in Adegbie and Fakile (2012) stated that EFCC efforts to fight financial crimes proved effective using the 2008 Annual Report of United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to support their claim.
The study therefore examined the Federal government budget implementation challenges and the application of forensic accounting techniques in preventing financial and economic crimes in the budget implementation process in the Public sector.
The main objective of this work is to examine Federal government budget implementation challenges in Nigeria and the application of Forensic accounting techniques with a view to providing solutions to the problems through the implementation of Forensic Accounting Techniques. The specific objectives are to:-
- identify the extent of investigative and auditing support services on over budgeting and appropriation in Federal Government budget preparation;
- examine the use of investigative and auditing support services on misappropriation of budgeted allocated funds meant for execution of capital and developmental projects in Public sector;
- examine the application of investigative and auditing support services on uncompleted capital and developmental projects despite full disbursement of budgeted allocated funds in Public sector;
- determine the application of litigation support services on the enhancement of efficiency of anti-graft agencies in curbing budgetary failure in Nigeria budgetary system in Public sector, and
- examine the application of expert witness in litigation in financial crimes on the diversion of unutilized allocated funds in Public sector.
- To what extent can investigative and auditing support services eradicate over budgeting and appropriation in Federal government budget preparation?
- How can investigative and auditing support services be applied to curb misappropriation of budgeted allocated funds meant for execution of capital and developmental projects in Public sector?
- To what extent can investigative and auditing support services be applied to stop uncompleted capital and developmental projects despite full disbursement of budgeted allocated funds in Public sector?
- To what extent can litigation support services enhance the efficiency of anti-graft agencies in curbing the impact of budgetary failure in Nigeria budgetary system and ensuring the success of budget implementation in Public sector?
- How can expert witness in litigation eradicate financial crimes in the diversion of unutilized allocated funds in Public sector?
The following hypotheses were tested:
H01: Investigative and auditing support services cannot significantly eradicate over budgeting and appropriation in Federal government budget preparation.
H02: Investigative and auditing support services cannot significantly curb misappropriation of budgeted allocated funds for execution of capital and developmental projects in Public sector.
H03: Investigative and auditing support services cannot significantly eradicate the issue of uncompleted capital and developmental projects despite full disbursement of budgeted allocated funds in Public sector.
H04: Litigation support services cannot significantly enhance the efficiency of anti-graft agencies in curbing the impact of budgetary failure in Nigeria budgetary system and ensuring the success of budget implementation in Public sector.
H05: Expert witness in litigation cannot significantly eradicate financial crimes in the diversion of unutilized allocated funds in Public sector.
The examination of the relationship between Federal government budget implementation and the present condition of Nigeria’s economy both her reputation and present level of development analysis, economic crimes associated to the implementation and how Forensic accounting techniques can help in the reduction of some economic and financial crimes which can be linked to the implementation of budget have been done in prior studies. For instance, Appah and Appiah (2010) opined that accountability reflects the need for government and its agencies to serve the public effectively in accordance with the laws of the land. Achua (2009) says “serious consideration is being given to the need to be more accountable for the amount of investment in resources at the command of governments, which exercise administrative and political authority over the actions and affairs of political units of people. Government spending is a very big business and the public demands to know whether the huge outlays of money are being spent wisely for public interests.”
Akanbi (2001); Ribadu (2004); Okoye and Akamobi (2009); Ahmed (2010) and Ojo (2013) emphasized on the level of corruption in Nigerian economy and the measures that government has put in place to curb and reduce the effect of this on the budgetary system of the nation. Achua (2009), Appah and Appiah (2010) stated that the major problem of economic and financial crimes may be traceable to some of the enumerated aspects of corruption, like embezzlement, theft from public funds, abuse of discretion and abuse of public power for extortion. They stressed that huge amount of money stolen from these sources, which cannot be legitimately explained as earnings, are siphoned and hidden across the borders in foreign banks regarded as safe haven. The correct term for moving money in this manner is money laundering. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (2003) defined money laundering as “the conversion of criminally obtained money into apparently lawfully obtained money by re-cycling the tainted money through banks and other legitimate financial institutions”.
Other researchers such as Diamond (2004), McGraw & Ladan (2005), Sachs (2007), Tunde (2008), Achua (2009), Appah and Appiah (2010), Eme (2010), Obara (2013), Oke, (2013), researched on accountability, transparency, various forms of crimes, misappropriation of public funds, over budgeting and corruption. On this basis, the study operationalized the effect of Federal government budgetary implementation in Nigeria economy in capital and developmental projects, over budgeting, diversion of unutilized public funds in the country with the use of Forensic accounting techniques as antidote.
Budget making and budget implementation according to Obara (2013) involve the process of identification of public needs, goods and services for the populace through political process bearing in mind the overall developmental plan of the nation. He stressed further that budget implementation in Nigeria is far from reality and there is a wide disparity between budget implementation and the budget despite full disbursement of budgeted allocated funds. This research will be significant to the office of National Bureau of Statistics as it could inspire the establishment to facilitate the collection of statistical data on Federal government budget implementation of capital and developmental projects in the Public sector. This will in turn show the true position of the economic growth and development of the nation.
This research could be useful to the Budget office and Audit departments in the Public sector through the employment of Forensic accounting techniques, which could help the Federal government of Nigeria to know what is disbursed and how it is expended. Forensic accounting could therefore help to provide a lasting solution to the problem of poor budget implementation in the nation through the investigative and auditing support services. This research could be useful as it could throw light into how investigative and auditing support services could be a useful tool in eradicating over budgeting and appropriation in Federal government budgetary system. It is also hoped that the study could shed light on how to curb misappropriation of allocated funds meant for the execution of capital and developmental projects and to stop the lingering problem of uncompleted projects in the Public sector.
Findings from the study could provide useful information on how litigation support services can enhance efficiency of anti-graft agencies in eradicating the issue of budget failure due to poor budget implementation in Federal government budgetary system. The research could also enhance the anti-graft agencies in the early detection of over budgeting, misappropriation of budgeted funds despite full disbursement and other financial crimes related to budget implementation and be able to apply appropriate sanctions to erring officials.
The study could provide empirical data to researchers on Federal government budget implementation using Forensic accounting techniques to curb crimes and corruption in the Federal government budgetary system in the Public sector.
It is also hoped that the research could throw light on how expert witness can eradicate budgetary fraud in the Public sector. Similarly, the study could further predispose the Budget office, policy makers, administrators, establishments, institutions and agencies in the Public sector among others to take cognizance of budgeting and budget implementation as a vital tool for economic growth in the nation. The outcome of this research could guide the Federal government of Nigeria to be able to readdress the issues relating to budgetary implementation fraud in Public sector and to put a stop to it. This could in turn help the citizens of the country to make proper decision when determining the performance of the government.
Finally, if the findings of this research are implemented, Nigerians could benefit as it could lead to economic growth and development, employment generation, improvement in citizen’s welfare, improved infrastructures needed to boost the nation’s economy and reduction in poverty level.
The motivation behind this research was brought out when the researcher came across a journal titled ‘Theory of Government Accounting’ by Omolehinwa & Naiyeju, (2013) where the researcher cited the Corruption Perception Index rating, released by Transparency International (TI) which showed that Nigeria failed to achieve any improvement over the past years. Transparency International (TI) which is concerned with compiling an annual global Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which base their work on extensive surveys and measures public opinion about corruption on government level, revealed that in 2008, she came 121st out of 150 countries, in 2009 Nigeria came 130th out of 150 countries, in year 2010 Nigeria came 134th out of the 178 countries that were assessed. This shows a declining trend and should be a serious concern to a developing economy like Nigeria.
It was on this premise the researcher decided to research into the corruption associated with the Federal government budgetary implementation right from the preparatory stage of the budget, with a view to finding antidote to this problem. Wolf and Hermanson (2004) observed that for any fraud to have a lead way, perpetrators must be capable to perform the act. This made the researcher to investigate Federal government budget implementation pitfalls using Forensic Accounting Techniques with the aim of combating the situation.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This study focused on the examination of Federal government budget implementation and application of forensic accounting techniques. The population considered for the study were the staff of Finance and Accounts units, Budget Unit, Audit unit, legal and Prosecution unit, General Investigative unit, Financial Intelligence unit and Forensic unit in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, in the Office of the Accountant General for the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Federal Ministry of Statistics and Federal Ministry of Works and the Nigerian Prisons Services. The targeted population in this study was all the junior and senior staff in the Federal Ministries and parastatals listed.
The samples were selected from the Federal Ministries and parastatals listed above. In all, the total number of staff sampled was 150. Of the total number of staff sampled, 25 were top management staff, while the senior staffs were 67 and the junior staffs were 58 respectively. The actual number of staff for each of the Ministries and Parastatals used for the study is not known as this statistical detail was not released to the researcher and the time frame of this study was between 2014 -2015.
Inadequate access to available statistical information was a major challenge which formed the major limitation to the study. Also some of the materials that were available on the internet were not recent. Adequate statistical figures on Federal government budget for Federal Ministries and Parastatals on capital and developmental projects were not readily available.
The study examined Federal government budget implementation and the application of Forensic Accounting Techniques. Two types of variables were involved in this study which was the independent and dependent variables. This study was empirical and descriptive.
The dependent variable in this study was poor Federal government budget implementation which includes over budgeting, misappropriation of public funds, budgetary fraud, diversion of budgeted funds for personal gains, uncompleted projects, unutilized allocated funds, embezzlement, forgery, etc. which is connoted as Y while the independent variable is Forensic accounting techniques in the study and it is connoted as X.
|Dependent Variable||Independent Variables|
|Poor Federal Government Implementation|
|Investigative and Auditing support service|
|Litigation support service|
Functional relationship: Y=ƒ (X)
Y= Poor Federal Government Budget Implementation
X= Forensic Accounting Techniques
X= (x1, x2, x3)
Y= (y1, y2, y3, y4, y5)
PFGBI= ƒ (FAT)
Y=ƒ (x1, x2, x3)
y1= OBA= Over Budgeting and Appropriation.
y2= MBA= Misappropriation of Budget Allocated Funds
y3= UP= Uncompleted Projects.
y4= IBFEA= Impact of Budget Failure and Enhancement of Anti-graft Agencies
y5= DUAF= Diversion of Unutilized Allocated Funds
x1= IASS= Investigative and Auditing Support Services
x2= LSS= Litigation Support Services
x3= EW= Expert Witness
PFGBI= OBA, MBA, UP, IBFEA, DUAF
FAT= IASS, LSS, EW
OBA, MBA, UP, IBFEA, DUAF = ƒ (IASS, LSS, EW)
y1= OBA. ……………………………………….. x1= IASS
y2= MBA …………………………………………. x1= IASS
y4= UP …………………………………………….. x1= IASS
y4= IBFEA………………………………………..…. x2=LSS
The above functional relationship speculates that OBA was regressed on IASS, MBA on IASS, UP on IASS, IBFEA on LSS and DUAF on EW.
1.10 Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined in this study
Forensic Accounting: This refers to the application of investigative and analytical skills in a manner that meets standards required by courts of law and provides investigative accounting in economic crimes in financial statements.
Fraud: This refers to all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by individual(s) to take advantage of public fund by false pretense for personal gain and to create a loss for others.
Budget: This refers to the estimate of income and expenditure, which are planned by the establishment for a specific future and is usually expressed in monetary terms.
Transparency: This refers to the honest and open way in which individuals pursue a given assignment on behalf of the people, without pursuing any hidden agenda in public policy and implementation.
Accountability: This refers to the explicit and justifiable ways in which the government has used the public resources under its control judiciously.
Litigation Support: This refers to the provision of assistance of accounting nature in a matter involving existing or pending litigation.
Budget Implementation: This refers to the operational aspects of the process such as the establishment obligatory ceiling, the evaluation of work and financial plans for individual operations.
Fiscal Policy: This refers to the means by which the government adjusts its level of spending in other to monitor and influence a nation’s economy. It is used along with the money policy which the Central Bank of Nigeria uses to influence money supplied to the nation
Public sector: This refers to the part of the economy that is controlled by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the purposes of providing government services.
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