The Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has urged the Auditors-General for Local Governments in Nigeria to be timely in sending their audited reports to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of their various State Assemblies, for speedy consideration and implementation.
Mr. Ayine gave the charge in Abuja when officials of the Conference of Auditors-General for Local Government Councils in Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday 22nd March, 2018.
The AuGF lamented that delays in the submission of audit reports have resulted in poor implementation of the recommendations they contain, and tasked Auditors-General at the Local Government level to close the communication gap with members of the Committee.
His words, “What we have done here and are still doing is to relate more with the National Assembly because we need to understand ourselves. We are to work together. All the reports, no matter how excellent, if not implemented will amount to a waste of effort; and so we realize that we needed to engage members of the Public Accounts Committee.”
He also advised members of the council to do more in developing and strengthening themselves, in order to come up to speed with international best practices and standards in the audit profession and take some pressure off the centre.
“There is need for us to come together. If the flow of funds to the local Government areas are well utilized and these areas are developed, it will do us a whole lot of good. It is very important that we cooperate, collaborate and share experiences about best practices in the audit profession,” Mr. Ayine stressed.
The AuGF considered the visit a great honour done him and his Office and pledged his support to the Council in the area of training and re-training of audit staff.
Speaking earlier on the purpose of the visit, the Chairman of the Conference of Auditors-General for Local Government Councils in Nigeria, Barr. Reuben Osita Nwosu, who led the delegation, said the call was part of a week-long meeting to discuss emerging issues in public financial management and thanked the AuGF for opening his doors to them.
He also called for an improvement in the implementation of submitted audit reports, even as he used the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to ensure that the on-going public financial reforms at the Federal and State levels, be extended to include the Local Government areas; adding that granting autonomy to Auditors-General at the grassroot level will positively impact on their service delivery.
“We are calling for both financial and administrative autonomy for the office of Auditors-General at the Local Government so that we can be in line with International best practice. It is a boost towards fighting or curbing corruption,” the Chairman said.
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