Jan 19 2018
Nigeria Senate has alleged that the Presidency and Ministries and Parastatals were in violation of the provisions of constitution and extant laws by not submitting their audited reports to the office of the Auditor General for the Federation (AGF).
The allegation was made by the chairman, Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Mathew Urhogide, while briefing journalists in Abuja.
He said that the violation had been going on over the past ten years.
Infuriated by the ugly development, he posited that the office of the AGF was designed to fail by government through insufficient funding of the agency.
Urhoride also lamented how agencies of government would stay for fifteen years without having their account audited, saying that funds released were supposed to be checked and audited.
“The office of the AGF was supposed to be up and doing in checking the accounts of the government agencies in order to prevent corruption in the system.
“We must be able to check accounts of all the government agencies. Every penny we spend in this country must be account for,” he said.
The lawmaker said no MDA would be entitled to budget if their accounts was not audited as stipulated by law, while calling for the strengthening of the AGF to function effectively, regretting that it was only in Nigeria that things were done without respect to the law.
He also requested for the nominal role of the agency, pointing out that corruption was rising in the country because the AGF had not been doing well, and called on the executive to rise up to its responsibility and address the challenges of insufficient appropriation being faced by the agency.
While stressing that the office needed everything to be revived to enable it take charge of its responsibilities, the lawmaker said that everything had to be checked in the office so that the country could get value for money.
“We need to activate the office to achieve maximum result; I appeal to the executive, and in fact, Mr. President to ensure that the auditor general was equipped to fight corruption and not the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The campaign was supposed to start from the AGF office and not EFCC”, he said.
He frowned that the office of the AGF, which is supposed to audit the federation was given a meager budgetary allocation of about ninety million, which is less than one percent of its requirement, while other agencies like the EFCC and ICPC have twenty-six billion and six billion allocated to it respectively in 2017.
He said, “In Nigeria, I have found out that we spend a lot of money fighting corruption, EFCC budget for last year was about N26 billion, ICPC, N6 billion, these are the ones fighting corruption Auditor general office that is supposed to check corruption and make sure it does not happen has a budget of less than N3 billion.
“With a bill before us we are going to ensure that the office is able to function maximally and ensure that corruption is curtailed. Enough resources must be allocated to him or appropriated to his office so that the desired functions are performed.
“The dwindling result we have been getting from his office is premised on the fact that insufficient appropriation has been done in that office over the years; we want to change the narrative.”
Speaking earlier, the AGF, Mr. Anthony Ayine, said that his office might be able to submit audited report in the third quarter of this year.
Ayine said that as a result of insufficient funding, his office decided to scale down the volume of activities it ought to carry out, thereby hampering its achievements in any fiscal year.