OrderPaperToday – The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has called on Auditors-General in the country, particularly at the Local Government level to partner with the Senate in its efforts to block all financial leakages in public service.
Speaking also urged them to ensure that maximum revenue accruals be made to the government at all levels in the country.
The Senate President said these when the national executive of the Conference of the Auditors-General for Local Governments in Nigeria, led by its National Chairman, Mr. Reuben Osita Nwosu, visited him at the National Assembly.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, on Friday, the president of the red chamber reiterated the Senate’ commitment to enhance government’s non-oil revenue through thorough scrutinization of revenue generation activities in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Saraki said: “I want to urge the Conference of the Auditors General for Local Governments in Nigeria to join hands with the Senate in ensuring that governments at all levels get all the revenues that are due to them.”
Addressing the his host earlier, Mr. Nwosu noted that the country cannot entrench accountability and transparency in the public service without guaranteed autonomy through administrative and financial independence for Auditors-General at the three tiers of government.
Nwosu who is the Auditor General for Local Governments in Imo State, said: “At the Local Government level with the granting of financial autonomy to the Local Government Councils, there arose a greater need to strengthen the capacity of the office of Auditors-General for Local Governments.
“Financial autonomy to the Local Government Councils without granting autonomy through administrative and financial independence to the Auditors-General for Local Governments would be counter-productive.”
He said that the association was excited at the progress made so far in the amendment of the Constitution by the National Assembly, adding that the “exercise would greatly remove all Constitutional impediments on the granting of autonomy through financial and administrative independence to the Office of the Auditors-General at the Federal, State and Local Governments in the country.”
Speaking on their concerns about granting autonomy to the offices of the Auditors General throughout the federation, Saraki noted that this could only be done by amending the Constitution
He said: “In fact, one of the amendments we have carried out on the Constitution is financial autonomy to Local Governments and I am sure that will go a long way in helping them to have a more transparent and accountable finance system.
“I totally agree with you that in doing that we must also strengthen the autonomy of the Auditors-General because since we are giving those kind of responsibilities to local governments.
“It is necessary that we support that with the necessary tools that will ensure that they are effective because if you don’t do that, the capacity at the local governments with those kind of responsibilities will be defeated.”