AGF Calls For Urgent Passage Of Audit Bill To Ensure Financial Independence Of His Office | Independent Newspapers Limited
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AGF Calls For Urgent Passage Of Audit Bill To Ensure Financial Independence Of His Office

Posted: Dec 8, 2015 at 8:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor  Emejor
Auditor-General for the Federation[AGF], Samuel Ukura, has called on the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, to pass Audit Bill before it into law to ensure the financial and administrative independence of his Office in the discharge of its duties.
Ukura who made the call at a-two retreat organised  in Abuja for Public Accounts Committees of the both chambers of the National Assembly, explained that the amendment of the Constitution and passing of the Audit Bill into law have become imperative in view of the fact that the present  Audit Law was promulgated in 1958, which has become obsolete.
He pointed that the passage of the Bill into law would further  strengthen and empower the Office to carry out its duties effectively and promote internal financial control among government Ministries, Departments and Agencies[MDAs], thereby reducing corruption.
He also underscored the need for effective partnership between the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation and the Public Accounts Committees[PAC s]of the National Assembly to ensure good governance, accountability and reduction of  corruption in all MDAs.
While stressing the important role of the PACs, Ukura said “Public accountability and the success in  the fight against corruption are heavily dependent on the work of the Public Accounts Committees. This is at the core of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change agenda.
“If PACs are effective, then the fight against corruption is far more likely to succeed and lead to a brighter future for all Nigerians.”
Speaking about the recent activities of his Office, the Auditor-General for the Federation, said the Office had undertaken an environmental audit of the drying up of Lake Chad as well as other performance audits.
He revealed that his office is currently developing expertise in the area of forensic audit, adding that since the return of democracy in 1999, that the Office had submitted 14 Annual Audit Reports to the National Assembly for consideration.
Also speaking, the Head of Office, UK Department for International Development[DFID] Nigeria, Ben Mellor, said the PAC is one of the strongest parliamentary tools to drive accountability in government.
Mellor observed that in view of the decline in the price of crude oil in the international market, that it has become expedient for Nigeria to tighten up all the leakages in government’s revenues  to guarantee improved quality of life for the citizenry.
To this end, he pledged to build stronger partnerships between the DFID and Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation as well as the PAC to promote transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria.