Auditor-General lauds National Assembly for passing Audit Bill

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has
commended the National Assembly for passing the Audit Bill, which,
among others, will grant full autonomy to the Office of the
Auditor-General for the Federation and establish the Federal Audit
Service Commission (FASC).

In a statement issued by the Office of the Auditor-General for the
Federation in Abuja, Mr. Ayine said that by passing the Audit Bill the
National Assembly has demonstrated great support and commitment to
President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at enthroning Accountability and
Transparency as key pillars and foundation for good governance in
Nigeria.

On Thursday, March 1, 2018, the Senate passed the Audit Bill, which
had earlier been passed by the House of Representatives, thereby
paving way for the establishment of the Federal Audit Service
Commission. The Bill will now be harmonised and sent to President
Buhari for assent.

The 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,” Mr. Ayine stated, adding:

There 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 Buhari’s Administration.

 “The 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,” Mr. 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 Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation according to Mr.
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.

 “With 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 Nigeria’s Supreme Audit Institution at the same level with
its peers in other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world,”
Mr. 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.

“Today is a landmark achievement in the fight against corruption. This
will bring accountability and probity in the finances of the
government and the fight against corruption.

 “I must commend all the members of the National Assembly, both the
Senate and the House of Representatives. This will go a long way in
ensuring the independence of the Office of the Auditor-General and
will ensure that the Auditor-General has access to different
parastatals and agencies.

“We truly have to block all the various leakages. We have to ensure
that we get this (Bill) to Mr. President to get his assent. We have
gone a long way in this administration in our fight against
corruption, and it is commendable that the National Assembly are the
sponsors and movers of this very important Bill, knowing that the
Audit Ordinance of 1956 is out-dated. We will continue to play our
part in this fight against corruption for the sake our country”.

The Audit Bill, once assented to by the President, will repeal the
Audit Ordinance of 1956, and will empower and expand further the scope
of audit of the Supreme Audit Institution of Nigeria to carry out
audits of all revenues accruing to the federation, expenditures of the
federation from all sources, donations, grants and loans accruable to
the Federal Ministries, departments and agencies as well as other
public entities.

The Supreme Audit Intuition will also be empowered through the new
Audit Act to carry out performance audit by ensuring that the
operations and activities of the federal government and its agencies
are economically, efficiently and effectively performed.

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