Aliyu tasks council auditors on transparency, accountability
Auditors-General for Local Governments and Area Councils in the country have been asked to imbibe the culture of transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties in order to get the dividends of democracy to the people.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who gave the charge at the 24th edition of annual conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments/Area Councils in Abuja, also called for close monitoring by the offices of the Auditors-General to ensure that adequate service delivery are achieved at the grass root level.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Special Assistant on Area Council Services, Hon. Muhammad Saba, noted that the task before local governments in Nigeria is enormous hence the need for assurance and performance that will ensure transparency, prudency and accountability in management of resources at the third tier.
Speaking on the theme: “Laying the Groundwork for Nigeria's Public Sector Transformation; the Place of the Auditors-General,” the minister stressed that while government is making great effort towards the sustain ability of its policies at various levels including the Local Governments/Area Councils, there was the need to ensure that financial rules, regulations and extant circulars are adequately followed in the application of funds at all levels of government.
According to her, “The importance of the Office of the Auditors-General cannot be over -emphasized especially now that the policy of government is geared towards fighting corruption, ensuring good governance, transparency, probity and accountability.
“This conference is very apt because of the proposed financial autonomy of the Local Governments/Area Councils where financial resource allocations would be channelled directly to them. The Federal Government is interested in the development of the grassroot for overall growth and development of the country.”
On his part, the Chairman House Committee on Public Account, Hon. Oluwole Oke, identifies poor stewardship reporting, administrative interference and inadequate qualified manpower as factors militating against proper auditing of local government accounts in the federation, just as he called on participants to right the wrongs.
In her address, the Auditor-General FCT Area Council, Hajjiya Kurdirat Abdul-Hamid, noted that more than 2/3 of Nigeria's population are domiciled at the grassroots, stressing that the welfare of the people at this level is paramount and it is the duty of Auditors to ensure that citizens at that level and the nation get what is best for them in terms of providing basic amenities such as infrastructures, education, health, security among others.