AN EVALUATION OF ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

ABSTRACT
The basic concern of
this study is the evaluation of accounting procedures in Nigerian public
enterprise.
Nigeria
public enterprises are characterized with embezzlement, fraud,
misappropriation, theft, negligence and non-observance of the existing polices.
These were deemed to have been possible because they were there were no
adequate and efficient accounting systems and procedures and were found, they
were either not properly adherent or weak and effective.
Data were obtained
using the primary and secondary methods of data collection. Primary data were
collected through personal interviews with the accounting officers of the
corporation through open-ended questionnaires while secondary source data were
collected through journals and the observation of prepared annual reports of
the corporation. The data collected were analyzed using percentages and
chi-square.
          The analysis of data revealed that
accounting procedures employed by the corporation were observed to a large
extent, that corporations have complied with almost all the principles
governing governmental agencies. It can also be deduced that non-conformity
with theoretical principles governing governmental agencies is not a problem
faced by corporations.
In order to ensure the
efficiency of accounting procedures in Nigerian public enterprises the
following should be strictly adhered to:
Ø Staffs
must be motivated.
Ø Qualified
personnel should be employed.
Ø Proper
accounting standard should be adopted.
Ø Effective
administrative control should be put in place.
Ø The
accounting system should comply with statutory and legal requirement of the
country.
Ø Accounting
department should be computerized. 
 TABLE
OF CONTENTS
Title                                                                                           
Certification                                                                                       
Dedication                                                                                 
Acknowledgement                                                                                
Abstract                                                                                   
Table of Contents                                                                          
CHAPTER
ONE
1.0     Introduction                                                                                
1.1     Background
to the Study                                                            
1.2     Statement
of the Problems                                                  
1.3     Objectives
of the Study                                                      
1.4     Significance
of the Study                                                             
1.5     Research
Questions/ Hypothesis                                       
1.6     Research
Methodology                                                      
1.7     Scope
and Limitation of the Study                                    
1.8     Definition
of Terms                                                         
1.9     Organization
of the Study                                                
End of Chapter
References                                             
CHAPTER
TWO
2.0     Literature
Review                                                                
2.1     Framework
of Accounting Procedures                                         
2.2     Evolution
of Governmental Accounting                              
2.3     The
Concept of Governmental Accounting                         
2.4     Objectives
of Governmental Accounting                            
2.5     Characteristics
of Government Accounting System                     
2.6     Parties
interested in Government Accounting Information      
2.7     Comparison
of Public and Private Sector Organization      
2.8     Similarities
of the Public and Private Owned Organizations       
2.9     Theoretical
Rules or Principle Guiding the Accounting              
Procedure
in Government’s Unit                                         
End of chapters References.                                                
CHAPTER
THREE
3.0     Research
Methodology                                                       
3.1     Research
Focus                                                                   
3.2     Research
Instruments                                                                 
3.3     Restatement
of Research Questions and Hypothesis          
3.4     Description
of the Population and Sample of the Study               
3.5     Sources
of Data Collection                                                  
3.6     Description
of Questionnaire                                             
3.7     Methods
of Data Analysis and Description of
Tools of Analysis                                                                        
End of Chapter
References                                             
CHAPTER
FOUR
4.0     Data
Analysis, Interpretation and Discussion of Findings          
4.1     Interpretation
of Items                                                     
4.2     Analysis
of Data                                                              
4.3     Analysis
of Tables                                                                     
4.4     Test
of Hypothesis                                                                    
End of Chapter
References                                                
CHAPTER
FIVE
5.0     Summary,
Conclusion, Recommendation and
 Suggestions for Further Studies                                       
5.1     Summary                                                                          
5.2     Conclusion                                                                         
5.3     Recommendations                                                                          
5.4     Suggestions
for Further Studies                                                 
End of chapter
references                                                          
Bibliography                                                                      
Appendix                                                              
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CHAPTER
ONE
1.0     INTRODUCTION
1.1
    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.
          Accounting
can be traced back to the 15th century when the middle-east merchant
became concerned about the profitability of their trading venture and they
developed the very first structure of record keeping. This formed the
foundation of the complex system that is in use today.
          The
underlying purpose of accounting therefore is to provide financial information
about an economy on business entity. This is often referred to as information
system. Accounting has been defined as the identification, selection and
analysis measurement, prediction, processing, evaluation and communication of
information to facilitate decision regarding activities and resources.
          Accounting
procedures are crucial to both private and public enterprises as they guide
management in future control and decision making by recording, valuing and
reporting even as they occur in the organization. In effect, accounting
procedures could be analyzed thereby recording, classifying, summarizing and
finally communicating information to its users.
          In
order to determine the accounting system applicable to an organization, there
is need to classify the organization into private and public enterprise.
Private enterprises are basically profit oriented. The accounting procedure is
such that will give information on the profitability of the organization. For
the public enterprise, the accounting operation is called ‘Government
Accounting’: it discloses how the management of Nigerian public enterprise have
carried out their stewardship and used public funds under their control.
          Omolehinwa
(2001) define government accounting as ‘the determination of how much money was
received and sources of such receipts, how much money was spent and for what
purpose and what remains after meeting the financial obligations. It is more
concerned with information gathering that will enable government prepare
receipts and payments accounts’.
          Adebisi,
(2005) thus define government accounting as ‘the process for collecting,
recording, sorting and compiling in summarized and monetary form all
information about public income expenditure and resources and communicating the
same appropriate level of government or public for the purpose of stewardship
accounting and efficient control of public funds and resources in line with the
laid down rules and regulations’.
          The
accounting procedures, system, principle and practices used in the public
corporation and government regulation, professional standards applicable to
government owned corporation would be examined in this research work.
1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
          Majority
of the people believe that the accounting procedures in public enterprises in
Nigeria are characterized with fraud, embezzlement, inaccuracy, lateness in
preparation and most cases they don’t use to prepare statement of account for
years.
          The
civil service reform 1988 emphasized on the importance of each ministry
becoming a self-accounting unit so that the accounting officer would truly be
responsible and accountable for men, material and      resources to the national or state
assembly. What obtain in the public sector at the moment does not seem to
satisfy the conditions of self- accounting required of every ministry.
          Often
times, the impact of the public accounts committee (PAC) of the national
assembly is not felt as the auditor general’s report on the accounts on the
central or state government are not considered by the selected committees on
financial matters. For example, during the civilian administration of 1979 to
1983, the Lagos state government house of assembly did not consider it
appropriate to pass the auditor general repot on the state’s statement of
accounts to the selected committee for examination of the points raised by the
auditor general which would have shown the non-compliance of the various
ministry/extra ministerial department with the budgetary appropriation and the
financial control requirements.
          Lastly,
it is also believed that measuring the resources put into profit making public
organization is easier than measuring those resources that are not at achieving
the intended objective.



1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
          The
accounting procedures in any organization are prepared as prescribed by certain
rules and principles. The purpose of this study is to:
          Know
to what extent government agencies conform to the financial regulation
procedures in the preparation of its final account. These were allowed by
establishing theoretical principles of government accounting and comparing it
with what holds in the corporation.
          Determine
the problems inherent in the accounting system of the corporations.
          Determine
the difference between the principles governing the accounting procedures of
the government owned establishments and the profit making organizations.
          Determine
whether the published accounts of the corporation show a true and fair view of
the financial statements.
          Determine
the problems inherent in the accounting procedures of the corporations.
          Determine
whether there is deviation from accounting procedures of the corporation and
policies that are put in place to discover such deviations.
          Determine
whether the accounting system obtained in the organization is in concordance
with the norms and value system that is obtained all over the world.
          Offer
suggestions as to how to improve on the accounting procedure of the
corporations.
1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
          At
the end the research study, it is hoped that the study will;
          Assist
management in making rational decisions in the operations and in the use of
accounting systems that are universally accepted and effective.
          Be
of benefit to various conflicting interest because the concept of fairness
should be balanced so that the accounting reports should be prepared not to
favor any group or segment of the society.
          Create
room for improvement and growth in the system especially of improved revenue
allocation and efficient cost control application.
          Be
of immense help to other Nigerian public enterprises as the research will
reveal the weakness, strength, opportunities and threat that will make them to
review their financial growth.
           Comparisons were made to post and present
trends so that deficiencies will be highlighted in the interest of the growing
society. The study will equally reveal whether the international accounting
standards (IAS) and the Nigerian statements of accounting standards (SAS) are
duly complied with in the preparation of financial statements.
1.5     RESEARCH QUESTIONS/HYPOTHESIS.
          Over
the years, doubts have been raised over the accuracy of the accounting
procedure of the state owned corporations. Some of the questions being raised
are;
1.                
Do they comply with the basis of
accounting standards? i.e. Cash accrual and Commitment basis?
2.                
Do they qualify staffs that can easily
and accurately prepare the actual profit?
3.                
Does the system in place permit
effective administrative control?
4.                
Does the system of accounting comply
with the statutory and other legal requirements of the country?
5.                
Does their financial statement represent
the true and fair view of the corporation?
6.                
Is the remuneration commensurate with
the qualification of staff so as not to encourage pilferage and laziness?
Hypothesis
In order to make this research a result
oriented one, the following hypothesis are developed;
          Poor
staffing is not responsible for the inadequacy of the accounting procedure of
the corporation.
          Lack
of in service training does not affect the adequacy of the accounting procedure
of the corporation.
          Unfavorable
/poor condition of service does not affect the adequacy of accounting system of
the corporation.
1.6     RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research survey
shall be largely focused on ‘POWER HOLDING COMPANY OF NIGERIA’. Data will be
gathered using the primary and secondary methods of data collection.
          Primary
data will be gathered through personal interview with the accounting officers
of the corporation through open-ended questionnaires, which were administered
to employees of the corporation. More so, secondary data will be sourced
through journals and the observation of the prepared annual reports of the
corporation.
1.7     SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
          There
are several types of governments owned establishments (public enterprise). For
example: Nigerian railway corporation, Nigerian television authority, Nigeria
airways corporation of Nigeria, Lagos state development and property
corporation and Power holding company of Nigeria.
          However,
based on the material at hand only one of the above organizations ‘Power
Holding Company of Nigeria’ (PHCN) will be considered as basis for judgment and
assessment of other related government owned organization accounting
procedures.
          Moreover,
in considering the accounting procedures of this corporation, it could have
been important to talk generally about the managerial and financial aspect.
Hence, only the financial aspects were reviewed with the data readily
available.
1.8   DEFINITION OF TERMS.
          There
are some technical terms used in public accounting system.
ACCOUNTING OFFICERS: This is the title
of the position held by the Minister (central) and Commissioner (state) as the
head of central or state government department. He is responsible for the
general supervision of the account of the ministry. He is expected to observe
and fully comply with the checks and balances spelt out in the existing
guidelines and financial regulations. More so, he is to account for funds
allocated to his ministry.
APPROPRIATION ACT: This is an act authorizing the spending of the total amount
provided in the expenditure estimates and appropriating it according to the
head of the ministry.
BALANCE SHEET: A balance sheet is a
representation at a particular point in time of assets, liability and owners’
equity (Government sub ventures to government agencies).
COUNTERFOIL RECEIPT: A receipt with a serial
number issued from a book of official receipts.
CONTRIBUTION MARGIN: Income or revenue
less related variable costs.
CASH BUDGET: A budget or cash receipts,
payments and periodical balances.
FINANCIAL YEAR: Period of twelve months
adopted by the government as its accounting year-end. e.g. from 1999 January to
December that same year.
FUND FLOW STATEMENT: This is also called the
statement of changes in financial account or statement of non-profit making
organization that shows the surplus or deficit of funds arising from its funds
operations in an accounting period. The counterpart of this statement for a
trading organization is the profit and loss account.
INCOME STATEMENT: An indicator of how
well a concern has done for a period of time showing the income (or revenue
earned), the expenditure (or expense incurred) and the resulting surplus of
income over expenditure (or net income from abroad)
IMPREST: An advance of cash made to an
office that requires making payments on the public service.
PERSONAL EMOLUMENT: All items forming
part of the emoluments of public officers includes; basic salary, entertainment
and housing allowance, allowances in lieu of quarters, fuel and light, clothing
allowances are paid in many fees and percentage of commissions.
TENDER: A written offer to supply goods
and carry out work at a certain price.
TREASURY: A place where the records of
public funds of the nation or state are kept. A term freely used to denote the
accountant generals’ department.
TRIAL BALANCE: A balance of the account
in a ledger extracted to prove the arithmetic accuracy of the ledger posting.
1.9     ORGANIZATION
OF THE STUDY.
          Electricity
development in Nigeria started towards the end of the 19th century
when the first generating plant was installed in the city of Lagos in 1898 by
the then colonial government under the jurisdiction of public works department.
Later, the electricity undertakings were set up by the native and municipal
authority in different parts of the country.
          In
1950, in order to integrate power development in the country and make it
effective, the Federal Government passed the electricity corporation of Nigeria
ordinance no 15 of 1950. This ordinance brought under one umbrella   all the electricity undertakings owned and
controlled by the native and municipal authority under the public works
department.
          The
electricity corporation of Nigeria usually referred to as ECN thus became the
statutory body responsible for generating, transmission, distribution and sale
of electricity to all customers in Nigeria.
          Niger
Dams Authority was charged with the responsibility of construction and
maintenance of dams and other works on the river in Nigeria and elsewhere. Its’
functions includes generating electricity by means of water power, improving
navigation and promoting fisheries and irrigation.
          Based
on the prevalent buck passing between Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN)
and Niger dams authority (NDA) on intermittent power failure in the country,
the federal government decided to fuse the two organization into a single body
to streamline their services for greater efficiency.
          In
the year 1970, precisely a year after the above decision was taken, the federal
government appointed a Canadian firm of consultants; Shawmont limited to look
into the details of the merger.
          The
report was submitted in 1971. By decree no 24of 27th June 1974
(which became effective from 1st April 1992). The electricity
corporation of Nigeria (ECN) and Niger Dams Authority were merged by the
federal government to become the electricity power authority (NEPA).
          The
monopoly of NEPA has been broken by an amendment in 1998 to the decree
establishing it by opening up the industry to private participation.
          In
January 1973, NEPA became operational when a general manager was appointed with
the mandate to generate, transmit and distribute electricity to all parts of
the federation and charge customers minimally for their consumption.
          The
Nigerian electricity power authority (NEPA) has since become the fastest and
biggest growing electricity company in Africa and indeed the developing world
with a customer population of about five million. It has eight power stations
made up of three hydro-electric and five thermal from a modest beginning. Total
installed capacity is approximately 6,000mv.
          On
11th march 2005, the power holding company of Nigeria was given
birth to by signing into law electricity power sector reform bill by President
Olusegun Obasanjo. The name of the initial holding company was incorporated on
the 31st may 2005 became power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN).
          The
bill seeks to provide for information of companies to take over the functions,
assets, liabilities and staffs of the national electricity power authority,
develop competitive electricity markets establishing the Nigerian electric
regulatory commission, provide for the licensing and regulation of the
generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity, enforce such
matters as performance, standards, consumer rights and obligation, provide for
matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
END
OF CHAPTER REFERENCES
Adams,
A. R. (2002) “Public Sector Accounting and Finance Corporate” Publishers
Venture, Lagos.
Adebisi,
I. (2005) “Public Sector Accounting and Finance” Revised Edition Rojah Dynamic
Publication, Ilorin.
 Olaoye F.O. (2008) “Concepts and Practice of Public
Sector Accounting in Nigeria”
Asheda Publishers, Ibadan.
Omolehinwa
E. (2001) Government Budgeting in Nigeria Pumark Nigeria Limited, Lagos
International Accounting standard
National Electric Power Authority (1999)
NEPA In Brief, Government press.

           

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