Without autonomy, audit institutions will not be able to put the executive arms of government, especially the governors, in proper check.
Therefore, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative has canvassed the need for autonomy of audit institutions at the state level to check mismanagement of public funds by state governors.
The Executive Director of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, during a virtual presentation of the 2020 sub-national audit efficacy index report on Tuesday, regretted that “50 per cent of states in Nigeria do not have a modern audit law that guarantees independence of auditors-general” to enhance stakeholders’ engagement in the audit process.
He said, “We want to see a situation whereby an auditor-general produces an audit report and comments on the financial expenditure of the state, and when there are irregularities, he/she is able to spotlight it for the public accounts committee to take up for the executive to explain.
Elemo expressed sadness that the public officials, who were supposed to oversight the states, end up applauding governors and turning in financial statements rather than audit reports, due to lack of independence.
He also canvassed the autonomy of the state legislature and judiciary in the country to enable them deliver their mandates effectively.
The Sub-national Audit Efficacy Index for 2020 to assess the 36 states against public finance management practices and accountability mechanisms revealed that 12 states, including Delta, Jigawa, Kaduna, Lagos, Niger and Rivers, had the most potent audit processes in Nigeria, having scored 70 per cent.
Also, Anambra, Borno, Yobe, Katsina and Gombe occupied 13th position with 60 per cent, while Oyo, Sokoto, Imo, Benue and others ranked 25th with 40 per cent score.
“PLSI undertook the data integrity exercise to ensure that information used in assessing efficacy of public audit in each state was drawn from reliable sources,” he added.
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