The fight against corruption by the current administration will be dead in the water if President Muhammadu Buhari continues to stall the assent to the Federal Audit Service Bill, said Matthew Urhoghide, the senator representing Edo South.
Speaking during plenary on Thursday, Mr Urhoghide said signing the bill was crucial to winning the Buhari administration’s war against corruption.
He said anti-corruption axe is losing its sharpness due to Mr Buhari’s failure to sign the bill. He said the bill would have empowered the Auditor-General of the Federation to do more in the fight against corruption.
“The Auditor-General does not have the power to function effectively in the anti corruption fight. Let Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) assent to the Federal Audit Bill to fight corruption,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the president’s failure to assent to the bill diminishes his anti-corruption crusade.
The bill seeks to improve financial accountability and transparency among government officials and organizations.
It empowers the Auditor-General with the power to penalize erring officials and organizations should they fail to turn in their audit report as the law stipulates. These penalties range from withholding of emolument to jail sentence.
The bill was passed in July 2018, and sent to the president in January 2019. The delay in its assent is at dissonance with the country’s 1999 Constitution which stipulates a 30-day window within which the president shall “signify that he assents or that (he) withholds assent” to a bill.