Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, on Thursday, said it will be dangerous to give local governments full autonomy without very strong audit functions.
He said that was what informed some state governors’ reluctance to grant autonomy to the LGs.
El-Rufai said the local government system has been badly abused and the only way to bring sanity to it was to have very strong audit functions, with an independent auditor-general at that level who is not beholden to anyone.
“In fact, the reluctance of some state governors to grant autonomy to local governments is because there isn’t a strong audit function in the local governments.
“Resources just get frittered away and for those pushing for more autonomy for the local governments, I think the first step is to ensure that there is an auditor-general for local governments,” he argued.
The governor, who spoke when delegates of the 25th annual conference of auditors-general of local governments paid him a courtesy call at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, promised to support any constitution amendment that will give power and capacity to LG audit.
He expressed optimism that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum will throw its weight behind such an amendment.
Earlier, the Chairman of Auditors General for Local Government and Area Councils in Nigeria, Abel Oghenevo Esievo, pleaded with el-Rufai to support the constitution amendment that will give recognition to the Office of the Auditor-General, just like the Nigerian Governors’ Forum supported the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SIFTAS) programme.