1,033 MDAs Fail to Submit Audited Report to OAuGF

•65 FG’s agencies never audited since their establishment

By Dike Onwuamaeze

Chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oluwole Oke, has disclosed that 1,033 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government have failed to submit their audited reports to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) for decades. Oke revealed this yesterday during a “National Workshop on Auditor General’s Queries – The A-B-C of Responses and PAC Technology Innovation and MDAs Compliance.”

Oke said a breakdown of the figures showed that, “12 MDAs have never been audited from 1993 to 2010; and 65 agencies have never been audited since they were created.”

He also disclosed that 956 MDAs did not submit their reports to the OAuGF between 2011 and 2016.

According to Oke, the House of Representatives would include stiff penalties in the Federal Audit Bill for MDAs that fail to render their audited reports to the OAuGF.

Oke revealed these numbers yesterday during a, “National Workshop on Auditor General’s Queries- The A-B-C of Responses and PAC Technology Innovation and MDAs Compliance,” which was held in Lagos.

The workshop was put together by the ninth Assembly PAC of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). It was to, among other things, find ways to enhance compliance through the use of information technology to eliminate manual submission of reports in hard copies to the National Assembly by over 800 MDAs at a minimum cost of N1.5 million per agency.

According to the figures provided by the PAC chairman, 76, 85, 109, and 148 MDAs were not audited in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively, while 215 and 323 MDAs were not audited in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The figures for 2011 to 2016 showed a festering impunity, as the number of unaudited MDAs grew progressively each year from 76 in 2011 to 85 and 109 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and thereafter galloped to 109, 215 and 323 in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Oke, who was represented by Deputy Chairman of PAC, Hon. Abdullahi Abdulkadir, at the workshop, explained, “Prominent among these issues were refusal by the MDAs to render accounts of stewardship and in many cases, these accounts were rendered very late.

“It becomes obvious that we cannot make any meaningful progress and make valuable contributions to national development if we fail to change our current mind-set with respect to audit issues raised by the OAuGF.”

Abdulkadir told journalist that the workshop was meant to raise awareness about issues of rendition of audited accounts to the OAuGF and enable various accounting officers and chief executive officers of the MDAs to see the OAuGF as their partner, “because some of the queries that were brought before us shouldn’t have arisen if they had proper communication with the OAuGF.”

He added, “Until, maybe, we put sanctions, penalties for defaulting MDAs, this ugly trend may continue to progress. We are really considering putting stiff penalties for any MDAs that refused to render its accounts to the OAuGF.

“If we allow this conduct to continue it will mean that the whole essence of the anti-corruption fight has been defeated as we have detected that a lot of infractions were committed by the MDAs but no questions were asked because no information was given to the OAuGF.”

The Technical Adviser to PAC, House of Representatives, Dr. Greg Ezeilo, said the lawmakers had come up with technology innovation for rendition of accounts because, “it takes a minimum of N1.5 million for each agency to produce sacks of documents that they submit to the National Assembly. Take this across over 800 agencies for four years and you will realise how much that is being wasted in documentations.”

Chairman of ICAN’S Lagos Mainland District Society, Dr. Kenneth Okpala, said, “This workshop is meant to demystify the auditor general’s report and queries. If for many years a lot of queries have not been answered it means that there are issues.”

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