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Auditor General reveals govt Commission not audited since 1993

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The commission responsible for the salaries and wages of Nigerian workers, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) has been operating since 1993 without having its accounts audited.

While the commission had been making annual reviews of wages and salaries in the Public Service, NSIWC books have been closed to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation for 28years – a revelation that shocked the House of Representatives.

The Auditor-General, through his representative, Maryam Ibrahim, had made the disclosure to the House during an investigative hearing by the Committee on Public Accounts. It was revealed that there’s no information on audited account of NSIWC.

“External auditors are supposed to audit them and then we have records of their audited accounts. But we do not have any record of this agency.” Ibrahim told the committee on Wednesday.

NSIWC counters Auditor General’s claim

At the hearing, the acting chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, said he noticed same when he resumed office two years ago, but that the Auditor General’s office have everything needed for auditing.

Nta said he was informed during an investigation he initiated, that the reason for the non-external audit was caused by short-staff, but staff of the Accountant-General and the Auditor-General were often posted to the commission.

Nta said, “Incidentally, the commission is audited 100 per cent by the Office of the Auditor General and the Budget Office, in collaboration with the Accountant General’s office and the Audit Department of the Office of the SGF.

“We do not have external auditors. As a matter of fact, they used to post staff to our Audit (Department) to head the place until 2018. So, all our rendition and processes are domiciled with the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.”

House committee summons SGF, others over revelation

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Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, faulted the lack of external auditors to audit NSIWC since 1993, and summoned Nta, Accountant General of the Federation and the Auditor General, Secretary to the Government of Federation, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation and the Head of Service of the Federation.

The House said there’s a need to explain what the law says about the situation, “This is a very serious issue. If this agency has been mismanaged since 1993, it has come to an end today.

“So, what we do is to invite the SGF, Head of Service, DG Budget, Accountant General of the Federation and Auditor General (of the Federation) and the Chairman, so they come and understand what the law says about the organisation and that the law of the land should be respected.

“It then means that the commission has never reported its financial dealings and if they did, the Auditor-General should have copies, because they are supposed to remit such information to the Auditor-General. This is a very gross issue that we need to look at very carefully and do the needful.

“The Commission’s Act is an establishment of the parliament and Section 9(2) of the Act provides that the commission shall keep proper accounts of its information in respect of each year and proper records in relation thereto, and shall cause its accounts to be audited not later than six months after the end of each year by auditors appointed from the list of auditors, not by the Auditor-General himself.”

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