President Muhammed Buhari has urged auditors to embrace good governance, accountability and transparency, which are hallmarks of his administration while expressed concern on ineffective audits that had contributed largely to governance problems over the years.
He disclosed this while declaring open the second edition of the conference of Auditors-General in Nigeria on Tuesday, he challenged auditors to adhere to the professional code of conduct guiding their operations.
”As accountability institutions in the Federal, states and local governments, and as the institutions empowered under the Constitution to review the financial performance of public officers even where there has been no petition or allegation, you are uniquely placed to tackle corrupt practices. Through your audit findings and recommendations, corrupt practices would be discovered early and loopholes blocked before they are exploited.
“Furthermore, you have the full range of audit tools at your disposal including financial compliance, performance and Information Technology audits. There is literally no aspect of government performance or expenditure you cannot examine. What may be missing is the will to properly deploy the powers that you have.
He reminded that under-performance by auditors, or ineffective audits, contribute largely to governance problems. Auditors therefore need to decide not to be part of the problem but the arrow to the solution.
He commented on the 2016 and 2017 Annual Reports of the Auditor-General of the Federation while noted that the audit opinion was in line with the reality of corruption, mismanagement and misappropriation facing the nation.
He commended the Auditor-General of the Federation for his efforts, saying: ”I want to encourage you to continue to do your best. “It is important that all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are kept on their toes through timely and high-quality audits.
He, therefore, assured the professionals that regular and constant monitoring of performance would be prioritized as the Federal Government rolls out its Development Plan. ”We know that MDAs charged with delivery of activities that impact the lives of Nigerians can all monitor and report their own performance, but the most reliable measure is an accurate and independent assessment by external auditors. This is one key reason all tiers of government in Nigeria need a strong external audit function.