Audit Report: Senate Probing 774 Federal Agencies Over Auditor General’s Queries

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Senate is currently scrutinising the financial records of 774 federal agencies based on the queries raised against them in the 2019 report of the Auditor General for the Federation.
The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), Senator Aliyu Wadada, disclosed this yesterday in his Keffi, Nasarawa State, country home while speaking with journalists.

He noted that his committee was not out to witch-hunt anyone but pledged that members of the panel would discharge their responsibilities diligently in the best interest of the country.
Wadada, also disclosed that the 10th National Assembly with the support of President Bola Tinubu and critical stakeholders in the nation’s economy would soon embark on the amendment to the 2007 Procurement Act so as to curb financial infractions before they take place.
He nevertheless appealed to leaders at all tiers and heads of government institutions at the federal, state and local government levels to embrace the spirit of self-discipline and fear of God in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The Senator, who is representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said no matter how beautiful a law is crafted, it needed godly people to implement it.

Wadada said, “When I became the Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), I was emphatic on the need for President Bola Tinubu to appoint the substantive Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF).
“I even wrote a letter to that effect to the President and he responded by appointing a substantive AuGF.
“The AuGF report for the 2020, 2021, 2022 fiscal years were not all ready. It was only the 2019 Auditor General’s report that was then ready for us to take actions on.

“The Auditor General’s report for 2020 was ready at the time I became the Senate Public Account Committee but it could not be signed by the acting Auditor General for the Federation.
“As we talk, the 2020 Auditor General’s report is ready and the substantive AuGF has appended his signature to it.
“The development is a confirmation that the Presidency under the stewardship of President Bola Tinubu is available, is responsive and supportive of the Committee on Public Accounts in the two chambers of the National Assembly. We have since started work on the 2019 Auditor General’s report before us.
“Under my chairmanship of this sensitive and strategic committee, I have repeatedly said that we are not out to witch-hunt or pull down anybody.
“Our ultimate objective vis-a-vis the primary focus of the committee is to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

“All we are out for is to identify what went wrong in the past, how they went wrong? Going forward, what measure do we take to forestall their reoccurrence? That’s all.

“I have been quiet about the activities of the committee because the sensitive nature of our assignment does not permit us to be talking anyhow.

“If we talk about or say everything we see in the reports of the Auditor General, we might end up setting the citizens against the government.

“So many things are wrong, not only because of corruption per se, some are systemic in nature.

“What we have in most cases is garbage in and garbage out. If financial reports are not well documented to produce the required results in an audit, that means something would go wrong.

“We are seriously working on the assignment before us. So far, some level of achievements has been recorded and we are still engaging with heads of ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government.

“They are still appearing before our committee to answer the queries they have against them as far as the 2019 Auditor General’s report is concerned. That’s the situation at the moment.

“There are also, status enquiries where we are looking into the financial transactions of revenue generating agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others which  are before us for scrutiny.

“We are currently looking into the books of 774 MDAs to see what was appropriated to them and check whether they judiciously utilized the funds.

“As events unfold, we shall be compiling our reports on quarterly basis and we would be making them public after their adoption by the Senate in plenary.”

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