Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has applauded the National Assembly’s passage of the Audit Bill, which will, among others, grant full autonomy to the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF) as well as establish the Federal Audit Service Commission (FASC).
In a statement issued by the OAuGF, Ayine said by passing the Audit Bill, the National Assembly demonstrated great support and commitment to President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s efforts at enthroning accountability and transparency as key pillars and foundation for good governance in Nigeria.
The Senate had on March 1, 2018 passed the Audit Bill, which had earlier been passed by the lower chamber – House of Representatives, thereby paving the way for the establishment of the Federal Audit Service Commission. The Bill will now be harmonised and sent to President Buhari for assent.
â€œThe passage of the Audit Bill by the National Assembly will strengthen and enable the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation to make meaningful and impactful contributions towards good governance through effective accountability, because all Nigerians desire good governance.
â€œThere is no way you can talk about good governance without the key pillars of accountability and transparency. So, with the passage of the Audit Bill, when assented to by Mr. President, the Office will be properly positioned to deliver effectively on its mandate, by making bigger and significant contributions to the anti-corruption campaign of President Buhariâ€™s administration.
â€œThe passage of the Audit Bill by the Senate is historic in every respect in that by this act, the 8th National Assembly has taken Nigeria away from the obsolete Audit Ordinance of 1956, which we had relied upon till now; so the Senate which just passed the Bill and the House of Representatives, which had earlier passed the Bill deserve commendation by all Nigerians and lovers of accountability and transparency,â€ Ayine stated.
The Auditor-General particularly praised the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives for rallying the entire National Assembly towards speedy passage of the Audit Bill, as well as the Public Accounts Committees of the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly for providing the groundwork for the Audit Bill to be passed expeditiously.
When finally assented to, among the gains the Audit Act will bring to the OAuGF, according to Ayine, is the attraction of quality human capital to the Office, which will result in better application of modern audit methods to the benefit of Nigeria.
â€œWith administrative and financial autonomy, which will come with the passage of the Audit Bill when assented to, added to the legal autonomy which we already have by virtue of Section 85 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Office will be able to attract quality human capital at competitive standards to deliver quality audit work to place Nigeriaâ€™s Supreme Audit Institution at the same level with its peers in other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world,â€ Ayine added.
Commenting on the passage of the Audit Bill, Senate President, Dr. Saraki who presided over the session, said the Bill would strengthen the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration.