By Victoria Ojeme
The Federal Government has solicited the support of auditors of local government accounts in its fight against corruption in the country.
The government says a lot financial leakages happen at the local government accounts and want the auditors to help check such financial mismanagement.
Speaking at the 24th Annual Conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments/Area Councils in the federation held in Abuja yesterday, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, said the importance of the Auditors-General could not be over-emphasised especially now that the Federal Government is fighting corruption, ensuring good governance, transparency, probity and accountability.
The theme of the conference was “Laying the Groundwork for Nigeria’s Public Sector Transformation; the Place of the Auditors-General.”
Represented by the Special Assistant on Area Council Services, Hon. Muhammad Saba, the Minister said there was the need to ensure that financial rules, regulations and extant circulars are adequately followed in the application of funds at all levels of government.
The Secretary of the Conference of Auditors-General of the Federation, who is also Auditor-General of the FCT Area Council, Hajjiya Kurdirat Abdul-Hamid, noted that more than 2/3 of Nigeria’s population are domiciled at the grassroots, said it was the duty of Auditors to ensure that citizens at grassroots get what is best for them in terms of basic amenities such as infrastructures, education, health and security.
She charged Auditors at the local government areas to monitor and ensure prudent use of federal government allocations to local governments and area councils.
She said single treasury accounts and procurement laws are meant to ensure that contracts are done transparently.
The National Chairman of Conference of Auditors-General for Local Government/Area Councils in the Federation, Abel Esievo, called for the inclusion of the position of Auditors-General for Local Governments in the constitution.
Esievo called for financial autonomy for Auditors-Generals at the grassroots to enable them perform their duties independently.
“It is our desire that the Audit Bill currently before the National Assembly be passed and assented to by Mr. President to further ensure the independence of Auditors-General and enhance the fight against corruption,” he said.