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ASCSN OAuGF Chapter Gets New Excos

ASCSN

L-R: The Secretary General, Ukeje Chika Pascal; Vice-Chairman, Enya Anna Otini; Chairman, Abubakar Muhammed Abubakar; the Treasurer, Tugbobo Abiodun Oluwakemi and Ex-officio, Affia Mfon Udo, at the Audit House in Abuja on Wednesday 21st August, 2019.

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation has elected new executives to serve a four-year term.

The keenly contested election unveiled Abubakar Muhammed Abubakar as the new Chairman, Enya Anna Otini as Vice-Chairman, Ukeje Chika Pascal as Secretary General, Tugbobo Abiodun Oluwakemi as Treasurer and Affia Mfon Udo as Ex-officio.

In a brief interview with the new executives on Wednesday 21st August, 2019, the Chairman sheds light on how his team intends to improve staff welfare, push for improved funding of the Office, as well as the signing of the pending Audit Bill before Mr. President. Excerpts below:

During your campaign, you made several promises such as improving the welfare of staff, organizing trainings in conjunction with Microsoft on computer literacy and cybersecurity, advocacy for increased budgetary allocations to the Office and the signing of the Audit Bill. How do you intend to accomplish all of these?

Chairman: As newly elected executives, we are going to implement every of our campaign promise. It might be tasking on us to execute some but we are hopeful that with the kind of massive support we got from staff during the election and the understanding we have going forward with the management and other stakeholders from the association’s secretariat, we are going to achieve a lot.

You talked about the issue of accountability and transparency too during your campaign. What are you going to do differently to achieve these?

Chairman: Accountability in a very short definition means telling the people what you plan to achieve and all the processes that lead to result and whatever result you’re able to get, you let them know about the result, whatever challenges you’re facing in the process of getting result, you should also let them know in case they may want to support you. So, accountability to start with will involve process accountability and financial accountability. The process accountability has started because everything we’ve been doing; we have been communicating to the people. We communicated to them about the need to get documentation of those that lost their cars or batteries while parking in the car park. We equally notified them about the online congress that we intend to bring up as a new concept and within this week, we hope to also notify them about membership because we have all the forms ready for our members to come on board. Financial accountability is also very key. Our congress has actually been demanding for that because historically, they’ve not had it pointblank –that is, giving accountability of the finances but we have started putting in machineries to be very accountable.

Will the online congress replace face-to-face meetings?

Chairman: The online congress is a new concept we are trying to bring on board but there is also going to be physical congress. Actually, the physical congress is enshrined in the constitution. The online congress is not specific in the constitution but with the reality of our office – national spread and a lot of people are on the field working and may want to contribute to the progress of the office. So felt that we should not limit their contributions to physical congress. Through technology, staff working from outside the headquarters can send in their contributions which will be factored into the physical congress.

Now to the issue of trainings, one would say that the AuGF is already doing so much in this area. What are the gaps you have identified and how do you intend to fill them?

Chairman: If you take the nature of our office into consideration, you will understand that the current management has been doing a lot to train staff. It was in this current dispensation that we had comprehensive training across board; everybody was trained on FAM (Financial Audit Methodology) and CAM (Compliance Audit Methodology) which is a big success for the Office. Moving forward, we hope to support the management because in the management’s operations, they were able to provide laptops for everybody, the first of its kind. However, in our thinking, we believe it is not sufficient for staff to be equipped with laptops without also training them on how to use these laptops. So if we can support our members and non-members alike on basic Microsoft digital literacy trainings which is available. We just need to get the consent of Microsoft and some people that will stepdown the training of our members.

How do you intend to go about advocacy for improved funding for the office and the signing of the audit bill?

Chairman: In fact, advocacy has been my passion. We will be working with the media and Civil Society Organisations. Two weeks ago, we attended a symposium organised by the Centre for Social Justice which was centered around the Audit Bill but our own kind of advocacy in-house, is to make electronic posters to educate our people on the content of the Audit Bill, the present stage of the Bill and every other thing that pertains to goals around the Audit Bill because when you don’t give people information, they won’t know how to support the process. So, for us advocacy here would mean getting staff and indeed Nigerians to support the Audit Bill.

Do you have set timelines for achieving some of these goals or Key Performance Indicators?

Chairman: As new executives confronted with the challenges that plagued the last administration which we want to proffer solutions to, we know that a lot is expected of us and we have to deliver, there will be no excuses. As for our timeline, we have a comprehensive period which is four years to achieve our mandate but in our own inner workings, we feel four years is too long, so there are some we’ve started achieving. Like the issue of security at the car park, temporary measures have been put in place to beef up safety of vehicles. Long term, we intend to meet with the Federal Capital Development Authority to release the empty space behind the office to us for the purpose of car park. As for advocacy for the signing of the Audit Bill, staff of the office need to move from the conservative nature to talking and engaging Nigerians. END.

Shortly after the elections which took place on Tuesday 30th July, 2019, the new executives met with the Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Mkpe Ayine, and management staff where they pledged their support towards the growth and progress of the Office.

Ayine who congratulated the newly elected officials of the association, urged them to demonstrate good leadership and work for the advancement of the Office in order to take it to an enviable height.

Oghenekevwe Ebireri

For: DD (Information)

22-08-2019

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