The Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), Anthony Ayine, has accused the National Assembly of failing to consider the audited reports of all the federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) submitted to it since 1999, ThisDay Newspaper reports.
The AGF made the accusation at the weekend while presenting a paper titled ‘The Role of National Assembly in Promoting Public Accountability’ at the ongoing orientation programme for 9th National Assembly members-elect.
Mr Ayine said to the best of his knowledge, there was no Auditor-General’s report that has been fully considered by the National Assembly since 1999 and that for audit report to be seen to have been fully considered after submission, a resolution of the National Assembly on the audit report must be transmitted to the executive arm for necessary action.
“The two Public Accounts Committees (PACs) (of the National Assembly) should draw up time table for clearing backlogs of audit reports,” he said.
While urging the lawmakers to take steps to clear mounting backlogs of audit reports submitted to them, the AGF insisted that the public accounts committees should ensure timely consideration of audit reports as well as address the late responses to audit queries by ministries, departments and agencies.
He said the last report submitted to the National Assembly was for 2016 and they are already working on the 2017 financial report for submission to the National Assembly for consideration.
Mr Ayine also noted that corruption had stifled economic growth and development in the country and good governance, he said, will remain a mirage in the country, without transparency and accountability.
He urged the lawmakers to be transparent through a demonstration of public accountability in handling its affairs, including finances.
“Transparency allows access to information, reinforces accountability and makes corruption difficult to be successfully perpetrated because corruption is usually a hidden affair,” he said.
Mr Ayinde’s accusation comes a year after the Senate accused government parastatals of being unwilling to audit their reports. This, they said, is because there were no penalties.
The chairman of the senate committee on public accounts, Matthew Uroghide, listed Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Bank of Industry and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as part of 85 companies that have not submitted their audited accounts for many years.
Effort to get his reaction to the AGF’s accusation was however, unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls made to him.