The Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has stressed that there can be no good governance without the pillars of Accountability and Transparency.
Mr Ayine made this assertion on Tuesday 20th March, 2018 in Abuja while declaring open the 22nd Annual Conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments in the Federation.
The AuGF who was guest speaker at the conference, tasked the Auditors-General for Local Governments in the Federation to protect the interests of Nigerians at the grassroot level by ensuring they carry out periodic reforms in their Public Finance Management (PFM) systems where necessary.
"The Local Government System, is very critical and strategic to fast-track sustainable development at the grassroot level of our country...we must aim at exploring the potential of improving service delivery to the rural people, thereby aiding the overall development of Local Government Areas in the States," he said.
Mr Ayine also urged the National Assembly to speedily include the Office of the Auditor-General for the Local Governments in the Nigerian constitution, in order to guarantee audit independence necessary for the expression of independent and unbiased opinion.
In addition, the AuGF charged Auditors-General for Local Governments to ensure that the allocations received from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee are well accounted for, especially in the light of reports of unpaid salaries and pension by some states.
Speaking in the same vein, Chairman of the Conference, Barr. Reuben Osita Nwosu, said that the need for administrative and financial autonomy had become imperative to the fight against corruption, financial indiscipline and wastages.
"The Office of the Auditor-General should be insulated from the offices, officers, establishment, bodies and authorities it audits for objective, independent and reliable reports that can guide government in its drive to achieve prudence, transparency and accountability in public financial management of Local Government Councils," he emphasised.
The Secretary for the National Conference of Auditors-General for Local Government Councils in Nigeria, Hajiya Kudirat A. Abdul-Hamid, in her brief remarks, admonished participants to renew their efforts and commitments in proving and convincing those in authority of the importance of prudence, transparency and accountability.
The Conference tagged "Public Financial Management Reforms in the Local Government Council in Nigeria: The Role of Auditors-General Local Governments" has in attendance 19 Auditors-General from the 36 states and will run from 20th-23rd March, 2018.
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