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Auditor General critical to anti-corruption crusade — Jonathan

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BY EMMA UJAH, Abuja Bureau Chief

Abuja—President  Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to ensure an effective Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, OAuGF, considering its critical role in the nation’s fight against corruption.

He made the pledge while commissioning the new complex of the OAuGF, in Abuja, yesterday.
His words, “an effective and efficient auditor general’s office would not only guarantee accountability but would ensure our fight against corruption is won back quickly. I want to assure you that government would do everything possible within the ambit of the law and available resources to support your office.”

The president said the speed with which approved the purchase of the new complex located at the Central Business District was a demonstration of his determination to boost the activities of the office.

According to the president the OAuGF must work assiduously towards a genuine audit of all public offices and must be seen to be carrying out its mandate through timely audit exercise of Ministries Departments and Agencies.

In his remarks, Mr. Samuel Ukura, the Auditor General for the Federation, AuGF, told the president that the new complex which was a more conducive work environment would spur his management and staff to work harder than before.

He disclosed that his staff had maintained offices in various organizations which they were supposed to audit and that the situation did not meet international best practices but that with the new complex his staff would come under one roof and that the synergy among them would briong about greater efficiency.

According to him, “if you are staying in somebody’s house, he’s feeding you and even giving you some other requisites, unless you have a heart of a stone, you will not write any bad thing about him.”

Mr Ukura said that his office would expand its activities beyond the audit of money spent to political promises made by politicians, including President Jonathan, before assuming public offices.

Specifically, Ukura said while the president himself would not be exempted, the performance information audit would hold public officers accountable to what they promised to achieve.

His words, “performance information audit is an audit that holds political office holders to what they say, things they plan and execute those programmes. Most of them come up on radio, television to say we’ve done this and that. If you say that, then we would go and verify what you have said and compare it with what you have actually done. And if it’s not in line with what you have said and what you said is different from what is on the ground, then we will report accordingly to the citizens of this country. Mr. President, this does not exclude you as well.

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