Funds impeding follow-up on unimplemented audit recommendations in Anambra – Lawmakers

The Anambra State House of Assembly has identified lack of funding and weak committee system as major limitations of its Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in performing its responsibilities.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Noble Igwe disclosed this on Wednesday at an Audit Engagement Forum and Accountability Dialogue organized by office of the state Auditor General in conjunction with Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI).

Presenting a paper titled, “Understanding The Functions of Public Accounts Committee of the State House of Assembly”, the lawmaker also listed lack of research report, politicking and lack of integrity in oversight functions as other factors impeding functions of the committee.

“Public Accounts Committees of the state legislature depends heavily on audit report from Auditor General’s office, meaning that inappropriate report will undermine the functions of PACs.

According to Igwe, the committee’s jurisdiction included examining the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the House to meet public expenditure together with the Auditor General’s report.

“The committee shall for the purpose of discharging that duty, have power to summon persons, call for papers and records and report its findings and recommendations to the house from time to time,” he said.

Describing public hearing as critical to ensuring transparency and accountability at various Ministries, Department and Agencies, Igwe revealed plans by the legislature to digitize the committee proceedings for live broadcast.

“Public hearing plays a vital role in our functions. Unfortunately, we don’t have allocations for it. But we’ll factor it in the 8th Assembly to ensure it’s given the credence it deserves,” he stated.

State Auditor General, Daniel Okeke reiterated the crucial role of audit work in building public trust and confidence in government financial transactions. 

“By maintaining independence, adhering to professional standards and delivering objective and reliable information, we contribute to the stability and growth of organization and economies around the world,” he said.

Earlier, Executive Director, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI), Olusegun Elemo said the 2-day engagement was targeted at fostering public accountability, spending efficiency, implementation of public policies and ensuring mobilized revenue were properly utilized.

He said the audit engagement was being carried out in five states namely Delta, Ekiti, Yobe, Kaduna and Anambra States.

He said, “The Executive, House of Assembly and Office of the Auditor General should work collaboratively to enact and implement the audit law effectively. 

“The Office of the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee should proactively involve civic and media actors in the audit process.”

A Civil Society activist, Prince Chris Azor recommended that a lawmaker from opposition party should head the Public Accounts Committee, as well as enactment of audit law for effective implementation of accountability process in the state

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