Some non governmental organisations (NGOs), Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI), BudgiT Foundation and Connected Development (CODE) have called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill 2018 in order to hasten accountability and transparency in government businesses.
The call was made recently at a press conference in Abuja.
While speaking, the chief executive of CODE, Mr Hamzat Lawal, said the time to get the auditing right to fight corruption in the country is now.
According to Lawal, if the bill is passed, it will empower the Auditor-General to carry out audits of all revenues accruing to the federation, expenditures from all sources and grants and loans accruable to MDAs.
He went further to say that to carry out in order, performance audit by ensuring that the Federal Government and its agencies’ business was economical, efficiently and expertly performed, the commission would be adequately empowered.
“We need to get our auditing right to fight corruption in our country.
“It is our responsibilities as tax payers, to ensure that the bill is passed.
“I am very sure that the president will assent to the bill if passed to him by the national assembly.
“I want to assure us that passing this bill will produce an effective auditing administration in Nigeria.”
Also, while speaking, the executive director, PLSI, Mr Olusegun Elemo, disclosed that more than 100 MDAs cannot account for their spendings because of poor auditing methods.
Elemo, called on the national assembly to, as a matter of urgency, harmonise this bill and get it across to the president for assent to avoid being cutoff with 2019 elections.
He said the house of representatives had, on April 19, 2016, passed the bill to the senate but it took the senate 680 days to concur to the bill, which was later passed on March 1, 2018.
“While appreciating the national assembly for this outstanding achievement, it is important to note that the process of harmonising the bill has taken more than 100 days with its current state unknown to anyone outside the parliament.
“The audit bill will bring accountability and probity in the finances of the government and the fight against corruption.
“This will go a long way in ensuring the independence of the office of the Auditor-General and will ensure that the Auditor-General has access to different parastatals and agencies.”
He, also disclosed that the act, which established the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, had made its operations ineffective and less efficient, hence the need for the bill to be passed.
The CEO Of BudgiT, Mr Oluseun Onigbinde, who was represented by Miss Ama Bassey, a staff of the foundation, said that the passage of the bill, would bring about accountability and transparency in government businesses and would curb corruption in its entirety.
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