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Impact of CDD support for the OAuGF Forensic Laboratory II

Introduction

The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF) appreciates the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and its partners for their intervention in support of the development of a functional forensic Laboratory for the OAuGF.

The plan for the establishment of the OAuGF Financial Forensic Laboratory (OFFL) was first conceived in 2017 as a result of the increasing deployment of digital technologies in the management of government financial resources and the need to strengthen the OAuGF investigative capabilities to address corruption cases associated with the development. The establishment of OFFL was provided for in 2018 Federal Government of Nigeria Budget, to be funded over three (3) years.

Implementation of the OAuGF Forensic Lab Project

Following the appointment of the current Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Adolphus A. Aghughu, the former Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr A. M. Ayine on 25th October 2020 handed over the sum of seventy-four million, eight hundred and eighty-six thousand, five hundred and thirty naira only (N74,886,530.00) as unspent capital vote balance that accrued over the three (3) years.

The OAuGF thereafter took proactive steps to implement this important project by mobilizing the resources available and also collaborating with the CDD. Thanks to this partnership, the OAuGF Financial Forensic Laboratory is in place. Apart from it being furnished with the latest digital tools like the VSC8000/HS for fake and counterfeit document and security materials detection, Sensiority for integrity test screening, among others, twenty-one (21) OAuGF personnel have been trained in Digital and Financial Forensics above the five (5) originally planned.

Immediately the personnel completed their training on 4th June, 2021, they were constituted into five (5) teams and deployed to conduct forensic audit of a number of high profile Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The teams are currently on the field and are expected to conclude their assignments by the end of October 2021.

Impact Analysis

In the meantime, the news of the establishment of the OAuGF Financial Forensic Laboratory has enhanced the reputation of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation considering the high regard accorded the teams at the Auditee Offices and the increasing calls by some Heads of Ministries/Departments/Agencies (MDAs) to the OAuGF for Forensic Services in suspected cases of fraud in their domains.

While the impact of the CDD support is still unfolding, it is important to state that the Lab has provided a conducive facility for Forensic Auditors to conduct analysis of their auditees’ data and findings and we expect tangible outcomes in the immediate future.

Conclusion

Finally as mentioned above, the increasing calls for forensic audit assignments by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) underscore the imperative need for more CDD and other partners’ support for capacity development in this area for the OAuGF.



Eme Ika Ika Oqua
Head of Press Unit,
13th September, 2021

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