Shortage of staff hinders our performance – Auditor-General

Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine [Photo Credit: Independent Newspapers Nigeria]
Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine [Photo Credit: Independent Newspapers Nigeria]

Nigeria’s Auditor-General of the Federation, AuGF, Anthony Ayine, has lamented that insufficient manpower has made his agency perform below par.

He explained that the office has only about 1500 workers and as such, auditing 471 ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) was a herculean task.

The AuGF stated this during his agency’s 2018 budget defence before the House of Representatives committee on public accounts.

He said the federal government has 471 parastatals and agencies and the AuGF is required to “comment on their audited financial statements.”

“Due to inadequate capacity and the complex nature of some of the accounts, the review and comment of the audited financial statements of some of the agencies have to be outsourced. It is important to note that the current workforce will significantly be depleted when 193 officers retire from service this year.

“If no further recruitments are made to improve the strength of the workforce, this depleted workforce could constitute critical threats to the functioning of the office.

“For the office to function and achieve results, personnel cost budget ceilings of N1,909,022,726 should be replaced by a new personnel cost budget ceilings of N3,424,510,028.55.”

While responding, Kingsley Chinda (Rivers – PDP) emphasised the need for the federal government to effectively fund the office of the AuGF to help in tackling corruption.

“If this government truly wants to fight corruption then it must properly fund the office of the AuGF.

“In the civilised clime, strong institutions are built not persons; because here it’s who pays the piper that dictates the tune and that is why the audit department should be independent of the three arms of government.

“We have concluded the audit bill in the House and the Senate is seriously working on it and there is need for you to double your workforce,” he said.

The AuGF is not the first government agency to lament dearth of manpower and resources to function.

But while some of these agencies lack the required staff strength, others still, from investigations, have redundant staff who add little or no value to their organisations.

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