The Audit Bill is currently before the National Assembly.
The Auditor General for the Federation, AGF, Samuel Ukura, on Tuesday called for the speedy passage of the Audit Bill to help enhance the operations of his office.
Mr. Ukura made the call when the Head of Service of the Federation, Bukar Aji, and the visiting Peer Review Team of Permanent Secretaries visited the Audit House in Abuja.
“There is the urgent need to pass the Audit Bill into law because the AGF’s office needs to be granted financial autonomy to perform its functions without compromise,’’ he said.
He also called for improved budgetary allocation to the office, explaining that out of the over N892.5 million overhead cost budgeted for the office in 2013, only about N595 million had been released with a little over N547 million already spent.
On capital budget, he said that out of the over N647.6 million budgeted, over N204 million had been released with over N203. 8 million spent, bringing the implementation level to 31.51 per cent.
The Auditor General said that the office was faced with some challenges which included the lack of administrative and financial autonomy, inadequate capacity in IT audit function and Information and Communication Technologies.
“There is also the problem of insufficient office accommodation, but the office has commenced the withdrawal of field officers resident in the premises of auditees.
“However, this is hampered by inadequate office accommodation and funds,” he said.
Mr. Ukura said it was ironic to note that while the national budget was increasing astronomically, the allocation to the office was reducing at geometric rate.
He said that the office needed to be well funded to assume the status of “Requirement level 3 Social Accountability International (SAI)’’.
Responding, Mr. Aji said that the focus of the peer review was to ensure that government offices focused in areas that were in line with the Vision 20:20 20 policy and the Transformation Agenda.
“We have visited various offices to share ideas and proffer immediate solutions to some needs to ensure that every office is working in line with the agenda of government,” he said.
He said that the team had observed that mismanagement by some individuals in some organisations had affected the management of government offices.
Mr. Aji urged heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure harmonious working environment to achieve results.
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