The Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, has advised state governors to replicate the federal government’s effort by auditing COVID-19 receipts and expenditure for transparency and accountability.
He gave the advice at the 25th Annual Conference of Auditors General of Local Governments with the theme ‘Attaining Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Through Better Audit Process’ held in Kaduna.
He said auditors should be proactive to avoid post mortem adverse consequences by ensuring accountability of public funds.
According to him, the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, within weeks of the lockdown, occasioned by COVID-19, held a virtual meeting with its management on the audit of funds related to tackling the pandemic.
“Audit teams were set-up and have since commenced an audit of COVID-19 receipts and expenditures of the federal government. It will be advisable that you replicate the same measures in your states,” he said.
He explained further that the audit of state and local government COVID-19 incomes and expenditures will ensure that the pandemic is not used as a conduit pipe by unscrupulous government officials to syphon public funds.
He also urged the auditors-general to ensure that they joined the fight against corruption by ensuring quality audit processes.
He said there is a need for training and retraining of auditors general across the country, especially on the use of modern technologies to ease their work.
In his remark, Governor Nasir el-Rufai tasked the auditors general on fiscal transparency and accountability in discharging their duties.
He said the world is facing the twin challenges of a global health pandemic and an economic slowdown, noting that such a crisis has not been faced in the last one hundred years.
Represented by the Commissioner of Finance Bashir Sa’idu, the governor noted that the state government placed accountability and transparency at the core of its governance reforms.