Auditor-General Has Exclusive Mandate to Audit Govt Agencies, Says Ayine

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By James Emejo in Abuja

The Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has insisted that his office has exclusive mandate under Section 85 of the 1999 Constitution to audit all statutory corporations, commissions, authorities and agencies, including all persons and bodies established by an Act of parliament.

His clarification came against the backdrop of claims that several other auditing entities were requesting to look into the books of government agencies.

However, speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz Abubakar in Abuja, Ayine maintained that the Office of AuGF remained the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) in the country.

Abubakar had particularly expressed concern that the proliferation of audit institutions had the potential to create fear among the agencies, thus the need for clarification from the AuGF.

He noted that NIMC had received up to seven letters from various auditing companies in recent times, seeking to assess its operations.

However, the AuGF, while acknowledging that fact that some other institutions were assigned to carry out inspections and oversight functions, said it remained the apex body for the job.

He assured Nigerians that his office will be willing to support and collaborate with the commission to help it deliver on its mandate, as he is convinced that NIMC remains a strategic institution in the country.

In a statement by the Head, Information Department, OAuGF, Oghenekevwe Ebireri, Ayine said: “We are keen about value addition, as we believe that our work should impact positively on the auditee organisation, thereby helping it to function optimally.

“So, if there are issues on audit that are not clear, or areas where you feel the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation can provide any form of assistance, our doors are wide open.”

He stressed that the purpose of his visit was to enable him familiarise with key institutions and agencies, adding that: “It is important for us that we know who our clients are, for effective auditing.”