Nigeria: Corruption, Lack of Audit Act, Others Bane of Proper Auditing - Auditor-General

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1 November 2019

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine, has identified corruption and lack of an Audit Act as the major challenges facing auditing in the country.

Mr Ayine said this in a statement issued by Rotimi Ajayi, the Deputy Director, Information in the AuGF office on Friday in Abuja.

The auditor-general spoke at the 49th Conference of the Body of Federal and State Auditors-General.

He also identified inadequate use of appropriate and modern technology as one of the challenges facing audit institutions.

The AuGF said the absence of an Audit Act tops the list of challenges currently facing the institutions in the country.

Mr Ayine noted that the existence of an Audit Act would guarantee administrative and financial autonomy for the Office of the Auditor-General and enhance its efficiency and effectiveness.

According to him, the autonomy of the Supreme Audit Institution in the country remains a major challenge facing the body.

"To reposition audit institutions to meet their constitutional mandates, it is imperative to ensure that the three-fold audit independence that will give the legal, administrative and financial autonomy is provided.

"The unbalanced media reporting of audit issues, very poor or unattractive remuneration of staff of SAIs in Nigeria, are also among the challenges facing the body.

"Also, the absence of robust working relationship between SAIs and the Public Accounts Committees of the National and State Assemblies also affect the body," he explained.

He also stressed the need to address corruption in the public service to enable the institutions live up to their mandates.

The statement also noted that Abdu Aliyu, the Chairman of the Body of Federal and State Auditors-General also corroborated the AuGF assertion.

Mr Aliyu, also the Auditor-General of Bauchi State said the lack of autonomy of audit institutions remained an impediment to the growth of the body.

He said that lack of autonomy of the body hindered accountability and good governance in the country.

"Many states have their Audit Laws and some have established Audit Service Commissions.

"We will appreciate it if the Audit Bill of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation is signed into law so that states can just domesticate it," he said.

Mr Aliyu said that audit institutions would not live up to their mandates if the willingness of the executive and other stakeholders to accept and respond to external scrutiny in the management of public funds was lacking.

He advised the auditors to continually adhere to the professional code of conduct guiding their operations, and conform to best practices to promote the ideals of a Public Sector Auditor. (NAN)

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