The Senate, on Thursday, indicted the Presidency, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, for violating the constitution and other laws of the land, by not submitting their audited reports to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).
Senators’ allegation was made by the chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), Mathew Urhogide, while briefing Senate Correspondents.
Briefing alongside three other lawmakers and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Anthony Ayine, Urhoghide said the violation had been going on over the past ten years.
Urhoghide who appeared highly infuriated by the situation, also posited that the office of the AGF was designed to fail by government, through insufficient funding of the agency.
He further lamented how agencies of government would stay for fifteen years without having their account audited, saying that funds released were supposed to be checked and audited.
He said the office of the AGF was supposed to be up and doing in checking the accounts of government agencies, saying that such would help to prevent corruption in the system.
“We must be able to check accounts of all the government agencies. Every penny we spend in this country must be account for,” he said.
Urhoghide who said that all MDAs would not be entitled to budget without auditing their account, called for the strengthening of the AGF to function effectively and regretted that it is only in Nigeria that things are done without respect for the rule of law.
He also requested for the nominal role of the agency and pointed out that corruption is rising in the country because the AGF has not been doing well. He called on the executive to rise up to its responsibility and address the challenges of insufficient appropriation faced by the agency.
While stressing that the office needed everything to be revived to enable it take charge of its responsibilities, the lawmaker said everything had to be checked in the office so that the country could get value for money.
“We need to activate the office to achieve maximum result; I appeal to the executive, and in fact, Mr. President to ensure that the auditor general was equipped to fight corruption and not the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The campaign was supposed to start from the AGF office and not EFCC,” he said.
He frowned that the office of the AGF, which is supposed to audit the federation was given a meager budgetary allocation of about ninety million, which is less than one percent of its requirement, while other agencies like the EFCC and ICPC have twenty-six billion and six billion allocated to it respectively in 2017.
Speaking earlier, the AGF, Mr. Ayine, said his office might be able to submit audited report in the third quarter of this year.
By Ehisuan Odia…
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