Stakeholders in public finance management have called on the National Assembly to amend the constitution to strengthen auditing processes and institutions as a way to prevent corruption in Nigeria.
They demanded financial and administrative independence for the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) and the States as a way of ensuring effective delivery of audit services at the national and sub-national levels.
The stakeholders made the call at the virtual OPEN Constitution Conversation on ‘Strengthening Public Auditing through Constitutional Amendment’ organized by a Multiplatform Legislative Interface with support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn.
A communiqué by Oke Epia, Executive Director of Multiplatform Legislative Interface, says participants at the event harped on the need to utilize the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly as a window to push for the strengthening of Supreme Audit Institutions in the country.
The participants further recommend that “only experts with a minimum of 15 years working experience in auditing and accounting be appointed to drive the needed changes in the Supreme Audit Institution.
The communique also encourages the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation to engage the service of Forensic Accountants in manning the services and activities of OAuGF.
The meeting calls for the establishment of an Audit Tribunal that will help in timely prosecution of defaulting individuals and MDAs when needed.
While emphasizing that a swift and effective audit system is key to winning the fight against corruption, participants therefore advises that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation should be empowered to conduct quarterly audit of reports of MDAs to avoid backlog of reports as seen in previous years.”
The Communique urges Nigerians to support the National Assembly to ensure that critical matters like the independence of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation is achieved to promote accountability and transparency.