Buhari Urges N’Assembly to Ensure Speedy Passage of Audit Bill

0
  • OAuGF launches five-year development plan

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed on the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the Audit Bill currently before it into law to bolster transparency and accountability across the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government.

The president’s call came in Abuja yesterday at the launch of a five-year (2017- 2022) Strategic Development Plan by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF).

Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adoesun, noted that the audit bill was key to national development as well as a vehicle to curb abuses in the public sector.

He said: “It is very important that the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation is independent and there is need for amendment to enhance its effectiveness across all the MDAs in the country.”

On the 2017-2022 strategic development plan, the president said that it was a tool for the functional operation of public offices, adding that it would enhance financial independence as well as freeing the audit office from external influence and indirect control.

Buhari assured that his administration was committed to building a future for Nigerians, assuring that his administration would not relent in tackling corruption across the country.
The federal government, he also assured, is working hard in building institutions across the country to enhance effectiveness and economic growth.

He advised the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine to provide adequate training and capacity building to his staff to enhance proper management of the audit office.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Account,

Senator Emmanuel Uba assured that the National Assembly would pass the Audit Bill as soon as the lawmakers resume from break.

Uba, who was represented by a member of the upper chamber’s Public Account Committee, Senator Yahaya

Abdulahi, stressed that the committee would partner with the Office of
Auditor General for the Federation to ensure that the goals and objectives of the strategic
plan are realised.

He, however disclosed that the committee would set up a conference committee to deepen more effort in ensuring that the audit bill is passed into law.

In the same vein, , the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Account, Hon. Rimamnde Kwewum regretted that many institutions across the federation were not well strengthened, adding that they were bereft of legal backing.

He noted that the House has passed the audit bill, noting that the Senate was working assiduously to ensure its passage to enhance transparency and efficiency in governance.
He lamented the low budgetary provision in 2017 for the OAuG, expressing the hope that the 2018 budget would be an improvement.

In his address, the Auditor General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine said
that the House of Representatives had passed the Audit Bill, expressing the hope that work is ongoing by the stakeholders to ensure that the bill is passed in the
Senate.

He stated that due to lack of legal backing in the institution, the Audit Office had found it difficult in ensuring that resources are well managed as well as ensure service delivery.
He also noted that the major impediments to the nation’s progress was poor
governance, waste , inefficiency poor accountability and lack of
transparency.