Senate Slams Auditor-General Over Conflicts in MDAs Annual Audit ReportsFeatured, Latest News, News Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Senate on Thursday slammed the Auditor- General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura for gross display of unprofessionalism on audited annual reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government (FG) from 2009 to 2014.
It consequently ordered the Auditor- General to issue clearance certificates to government agencies whose annual audited reports have been cleared.
The Auditor – General incurred the wrath of the upper legislative Chamber from its committee on Public Accounts during a probe session it had with Heads of MDAs on annual reports of their audited accounts from 2009 to 2014.
While the Auditor- General’s reports on the MDAs forwarded to the senate, indicted many of the agencies over non submission of their annual audited reports from 2009 to 2014, the agencies countered, by claiming submission of the reports with evidence.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in particular debunked the claim made in the report of the Auditor- General that it did not make available its audited reports of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by declaring that its audited reports for the years listed, have long been submitted to the office of the Auditor- General based on queries raised to that effect.
The CBN Deputy – Governor (Operations), Bayo Adelabu who represented the Governor told the committee that in line with section 65 (3d) of the 1999 constitution as amended and Act of parliament of 2007, the apex bank submitts its annual reports of any previous year on February 28 of every year.
According to him, the claim made in the report of the Auditor- General as regards annual report of CBN from 2010 to 2014, is false as the apex bank had submitted all the reports 2014 based on queries issued by the Auditor- General’s office.
A submission representative of the Auditor- General of the Federation couldn’t counter when asked by the committee to respond.
Aside CBN, other agencies of government like the Ministry of Petroleum Resorces, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and others also debunked claims made by the Auditor- General against them on non submission of annual reports between 2009 and 2014.
When pressed for response by the committee to the submissions of the agencies, the Auditor- General, who was represented by a Director in his office, Isaac Olurotimi Dada, said reports forwarded to the Senate on annual reports of the various government agencies were based on available documents on findings made.
A response that infuriated the committee Chairman, Senator Andy Uba (PDP Anambra South) and members who accused him of giving them unsatisfactory explanation in spite of earlier claiming to be competent to represent his boss.
“Your boss who is fond of declaring on the Television or Radio that his office had completed audited work on annual reports of the MDAs and always alleging that it is the National Assembly that is not working on such reports, is not here today for the needed harmonization of these conflicting reports and even you that is here, is not competent going by your responses so far”, said the committee Chairman.
He went further by declaring that for the needed harmonization to be seen to have been done on the conflicting reports, the Auditor- General should issue clearance certificate to agencies whose annual reports have been cleared up to 2014 before the next meeting with the committee.
In his own comment, a member of the committee, Senator Akpan Bassey (PDP Akwa – Ibom North East), accused the Auditor – General of avoiding the meeting because of the wishy washy of reports earlier forwarded to the Senate on annual reports of the agencies.
“Going by what has unfolded itself here today, as far as this committee is concerned, the Auditor- General deliberately ran away and not because of any other important engagement elsewhere”, he said.
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