By Michael Eboh
Auditor-General of the Federation, OAuGF, Mr. Anthony Ayine, yesterday, disclosed that it would release the interim report on COVID-19 spending by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, for COVID-19, next week.
Speaking in Abuja, during the presentation of a Special Recognition Award to him by the Conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments/Area Councils in Nigeria, Ayine stated that the first audit report, to be released next week, would cover the period of the establishment of the PTF, till June 30.
He added that going forward, the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, OAuGF, would be releasing quarterly interim reports of the utilization of the COVID-19 funds to entrench transparency and accountability.
He said: “We have commenced the audit. In fact, we are about issuing the first interim report. Hopefully, by next week, the first interim report should be published.
“What we have agreed on is to be issuing quarterly interim reports. The first interim report coming out would be from the commencement of when the Presidential Task Force, PTF, for COVID-19, was established, up till June 30, 2020.
“Being the first interim report, there are challenges we need to fine-tune. I assure you that by next week, the first interim report should have been out, and we would follow on a quarterly basis to issue interim reports.”
Furthermore, Ayine called on state governors to partner with auditors-general of the state and local governments within their various states to drive the development programmes of the country.
Ayine further called on auditors to change the methodology of their auditing and begin to give proper attention to performance audit.
He added that the OAuGF would work with development partners to build the capacity of auditors at all levels of governance.
According to him, issues of training and re-training of auditors, as well as capacity development is critical and must be given a place of priority, to ensure that auditors must always remain current, especially in the budgeting process.
He said: “The current leadership of this country has shown that auditors are critical in corruption fight, hence, we must rise up to the occasion and support the entrenchment of transparency pushed forward by the president.”
Ayine also called for increased attention on performance audit by auditors across all levels of governance.
According to him, governors should see auditors-general as partners in the drive towards development, especially going by the role they play in entrenching transparency and accountability.
Speaking during the presentation of the award, Chairman of the Conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments/Area Councils in Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Musa, commended Ayine for institutionalizing the statutory Supreme Audit Institution, SAI, and for restructuring the office of the Auditor-general of the federation.