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1.1 Background of the study

In most developing countries including Nigeria, government participation in economic activity is usually significant.  One of the ways through which government has intervened in Nigerian economy is through the establishment of public enterprises and statutory bodies operating services of an economic or social character on behalf of the government.

Since the colonial era, especially after independence in 1960, Nigerian public enterprises have witnessed a steady growth unit recently.  Beginning as a trickle in the period between this era of the World War II and Nigeria attainment of independence in 1960, the creation of public corporations had risen to flood level since independence and has maintained a steady growth.  The rationale behind the establishment of public enterprises in Nigeria are many.  Some of the reason include:  generating revenue, they would add to available rational capital for the support of development and welfare programme, making to be controlled by a  few individual, it possible for important profitable enterprises to be controlled by a few individual or group, organization certain critical activities national survival and economic stability and providing employment opportunities (Ademolukun 1983).  However, after a long period of growing. Consequently, there has been a willingness to look at alternative policy strategies for the achievement of economic development.  At the forefront of these strategies is the minimization privatization of public enterprises.

In Nigeria, public enterprises are engaged in a while spectrum of economic activities including agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, commerce and services.  The classification of public enterprises in Nigeria, had been made according to varieties of criteria by different authorities.  The public service review commission (1975:101) classified public sector into: Public utilities, Regulatory of service body, Financial institutions, Commercial and industrial enterprises. Nigeria being a mixed economy, individuals also own and operate private enterprises.  A firm classified as private enterprises when it is founded and managed by an individual and other group of individual.  These firms are expected to be registered in the local government within which they operate. The rationale for the establishment of private enterprises are numerous just like establishment of public enterprises. They include amongst other; Provision of employment opportunities, generating income for the owner of the enterprises.  Government interest in profit growth of the enterprises which determine the tax liabilities of the firms, improve the performance of the public sector through competition.  Moreover, the general public is concerned with the contribution which makes towards social upliftment which is exhibited to the environment in which the business is loaded and its willingness to contribute to the development of the environment.

The activities of the public enterprises have been on the increase in recent times which necessitated the introduction of the accounting practice to check and monitor the financial activities of these enterprises.  In this book, titled principles of accounting, by Bimage (1985) accounting is defined as a process by which data relating to the economic activities of an organization are measured, recorded and communicated to interested parties for analysis and interpretation. The earliest method of accounting records were kept in physical quantities.  These records came from the Eastern (early) civilization which involved in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Italy etc.  Money was recorded as soon as money took the place of barter as a medium of exchange and unit of accounting practice has been closely related to the economic development of the country.  If the business organization grows in size and complexity, management and outsiders became more clearly differentiate from the outside groups which include owners of the firm (stock holder) creditors, government employer and the general public. The differentiation necessitated the need to have accounting department in the enterprises to give accurate financial of the management and to satisfy the outside demands or the general public who are already interested on whether the enterprises in growing or not. The role of accounting in public enterprises in Nigeria is primarily to ensure accurate accountability in these sector and present the time and fair financial position of the enterprises.  The role is of utmost importance in any organization.  An organization can only grow or profit when the resources are well managed and effective observed over expenditure.  These resource can only be well managed if accounting department of the organization give an accurate financial information to know how, much the enterprises having.  It is only when this is done that the firm allocate its resources and knows what is to be done. The role of accounting seems to be more pronounced in the public enterprises.  In recent time there are cases of misappropriation of funds in the public enterprises and improper accountability.  These factors have led to a lot of public enterprises going into oblivion. If the government has reorganized the role of accounting, all these fables should not have arisen.  No enterprises can move forward without having a well-organized financial departments to give accurate financial; information about the firm. This is because if improper accounting records are not minimized or where possible eradicated these is bound to be cases of public enterprises failure.  Consequently, staff of such enterprises will forced out of their job.  This will result to economic and social; activities in the society.


Obviously, every privates and public entries in Nigeria has their accounting department and there are increase cases of financial mismanagement in virtually all the public and private organization in Nigeria. The problem of this study lies on how the manages of these enterprises are able to recognizes the role of accounting in their enterprises so that these cases of improper accountability will be minimized or if possible its total eradication in our society.


This study aims at investigating the role of accounting in the control of public enterprises in Nigeria. The purpose of this study include among others:

i)             To determine the extent to which accounting records has controlled the role of expenditures in public enterprises.

ii)           To find out factor that affects the accounting department preventing them from carryout their function as expected.

iii)          To determine government policies which promote accountability in public enterprises in Nigeria.


At the completion of this study it is expected that the findings will aid in highlighting the inherent problem encountered in the account department of most organizations. Specifically to the accounting officers in Central Bank of Nigeria to improve on their system of expenditure where lapses are discovered to exist. It is expected that the findings will be of interest to the owners of business enterprises, the government, students and the general public. To shareholders, owners of enterprise, interested persons and the government, this study is expected to rekindle their interest the more and they will take note of various recommendations mentioned here and help steer the management team towards forming a study organizations to present an accurate financial information of their firm.

This study will also help to serve as literature to individual or corporate bodies into want to carry on further research on the role of accounting in the public sector in Nigeria.


The following null and alternate research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher:

Ho: Good accounting records budgeting has no control effect on expenditure of Central Bank of Nigeria.

H1: Good accounting records budgeting has control effect on expenditure of Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ho: Corruption do not affects the quality of service rendered by accountants in public enterprises.

H2: Corruption affects the quality of service rendered by accountants in public enterprises.


The scope of this study shows extent of coverage done in the accounting sector. The research topic centered on the role of accounting in the public enterprises in Nigeria. The main focus is on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Enugu State. I take this to be a fair representative of Nigerian Public Enterprise that is either avoidable or hard to come by. The researcher however encountered some constraints in the course of the research;

TIME: This which was a major problem was adequately not managed by the researcher. There is not enough time for the research to get the project time, get it approved and within a short time we will be talking about our exams assignment and quiz.

LACK OF MATERIALS: The lack of co-operation from most people working in the library and other offices where the researcher needed to get materials posed great problem to the research. Some of the staffs do not feel safe letting have access to some materials while other will change you more than double the cost of Photostat before one can get what he wants.

FINANCE: Before now our project use to be a joint project of a group of four-ten people but now it has to be on individual student. So finance hinder the projects in one way or the other. Either by transportation to where to get the materials or where to obtain the necessary information among many others.


Budgeta financial statement indicating income and expenditure for a periodof a year.

Control:is any activity or action taken to ensure that Procedure are directed towards the achievement of set objective.

Public: Ordinary people in society in general.

Resources: supply of something that one can use to increase wealth.

Regulations: An official rule made by a government or some order authority

Sector: A part of an area of activity especially of a country’s economy

MANAGEMENT: Its function, it is centered on the running and controlling of the organization, the way the directors perform their function to attain a successful operation.

ACCOUNTING:In this context, an accountants records, classify and summaries all public expenditure in the Central Bank of Nigeria in a significant manner and in terms of monetary events and transaction which are in part at least financial character and to interpreter the result thereof.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT: An accountant makes an accounting report issued by a business to describe its financial affairs and results of the operations.

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced operations on July 1, 1959. The major regulatory objectives of the bank as stated in the CBN Act are to: maintain the external reserves of the country, promote monetary stability and a sound financial environment, and to act as a banker of last resort and financial adviser to the federal government.


Here, the researcher is expected to state clearly why he feels the research is necessary. (Orsaah, 2009:50) however, the research is necessary for the following reasons. They are;

To determine the likely areas of weaknesses of the expenditure control in the public sector and make the necessary suggestions for improvement.

 The control of public expenditure is important to an individual in particular and the public generally as these controls contributes to theattainment of the objectives of the public expenditure.  It is also necessary to control the expenditure of the public funds to ensure that members of the public will benefit from such expenditure by ensuring that funds are applied directly to those projects they are meant for. It is necessary because, it involves determining the best approach and techniques in achieving the effects of expenditure control on the effective management of public sector in Nigeria in order to achieve the desired control of public sector in Nigeria.

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