Lagos — Anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), has said that Nigeria may recover billions of stolen or misappropriated public funds if the Auditor General's reports since 1999 are investigated.
HEDA in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) said it is seeking a thorough investigation of audited reports of Government corporations and parastatals dating back to 1999 when the country returned to democracy after more than two decades of military rule.
The Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine blew the lid open in Abuja three weeks ago when he said that though lawmakers were empowered by the Constitution and paid to review the audited reports of government's parastatals, they failed to live up to expectations.
He also lamented that some government agencies fail to submit their audited reports. His predecessor Samuel T. Ukura had spoken in the same vein. The AuGF spoke during the retreat for 469 newly elected members of the national assembly.
The petition signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju stated "We align ourselves with positions of the incumbent and immediate past Auditor Generals of the Federation and their discontentment in relation to the failure of the legislators to review the Audit reports which would have been a major determinate in unveiling corruption across government agencies, institutions and arms."
HEDA said the statements of the Auditor Generals were enough prove that corruption is entrenched in Nigeria's public institutions. "We believe that the losses incurred by the nation could have been prevented or at worst reversed if the legislators have not, by their flagrant failure to review the reports, turned accomplices of corruption with that dereliction of constitutional duties for which they were equally remunerated.