Absence of performance audit, lack of transparency breeding accountability gaps in Anambra-PLSI

By Awsome Ekene

Paradigmme Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has identified absence of performance audit, legal framework and lack of transparency as major accountability gaps towards guaranteeing effective public auditing in Anambra state.

Programme Officer, Abdullahi Adebayo said this in Awka during Stakeholders’ Accountability Dialogue on 2022 Report of the State Auditor-General and Workshop for Heads of Finance, Procurement and Internal Audit of Government Agencies on Compliance with Public Financial Management (PFM) Laws.

The workshop was organized in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation.

He noted that participation mechanisms’ sustenance also constituted accountability gaps in the audit process.

He regretted that Anambra and Benue states remained the two states yet to enact the audit law, recommending collaboration of the executive, House of Assembly and office of the Auditor-General to enact and implement the law effectively.

He said: “The Supreme Audit Institution, Office Of Accountant General and other actors should ensure accountability documents such as the citizens accountability reports are published online and timeously.

“The Office of the Auditor-General, Public Accounts Committee, Civil Society and media actors should sustain participation in the audit process.

“There is need to ensure performance audits are carried out to access implementation of government programmes, projects and policies.”

Reacting, State Auditor General Mr Akosa Okocha assured soon readiness of the state audit law for improved transparency and accountability.

“We’re in the process of ensuring the law is available and passed as soon as possible. The draft law has already been forwarded to the Finance Commissioner for further actions, with a follow up from us.

“The law is important because it will enhance our activities. Currently, the state is at the 7th position. But we need to do more to improve the rating, including working on the criteria we didn’t meet.

“There’s a performance audit team currently working on them. We’re also engaging with Civil Society Organizations with necessary backings with regards to interpretation of the audited financial statements,” he said.

While appreciating the PLSI for the 2-year partnership with the state, particularly in ensuring transparency and accountability of its financial activities, Okocha promised to ensure sustainability of the project.

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