24.9 C
Abuja

Audit Commission Bill: CSO canvasses expungement of controversial Section 31

Related

2mins read

By Ekemini SIMON


POLICY ALERT, a civil society organisation working on fiscal justice, has called on the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to expunge Section 31 (2) of the bill seeking to establish the Akwa Ibom State Audit Commission, Offices of the Auditor-General for Akwa Ibom State and Auditor-General for Local Governments and for other related matters connected therewith.

This was part of the memo presented by Project Officer of Policy Alert Mfon Gabriel at the public hearing for the bill held on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Section 31 (2) provides that “If at any time, it appears to the State Auditor-General that any irregularities have occurred in the receipt, custody or expenditure of public monies or in the receipt, custody, issue, sale, transfer or delivery of any securities, stores or other Government property, or in the accounting of same, he shall immediately bring the matter to the notice of the Governor or the Accounting Officer of the affected Ministry or Agency and to any other officer he may deem fit.”


READ ALSO:

How Akwa Ibom State Government spent N10 billion on ghost project 

How corruption, questionable contracts led to the collapse of Akwa Ibom state-owned company

- Advertisement -

Akwa Ibom government claims N1.057bn earmarked in 2019 budget for constituency projects was spent on arrears


Policy Alert, in its memo, queried the rationale behind channeling discovered irregularities to the executive instead of the legislature as provided by law.

“This gives room for cover-up and it takes the power of oversight from the State House of Assembly as provided for in section 128 and 129 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended.

“If the bill scales through with this section, in fact, it is going to be against public interest.

“Policy Alert is recommending that irregularities discovered should be stated in the State Auditor-General’s report and should be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Assembly,  then before the committee of the whole for necessary and adequate sanctions.”

Policy Alert further proposed that Section 4 of the bill, which provides three years as tenure for the chairman and members of the commission, be reviewed to five years so as to avoid political intrigues which might affect the smooth sail of the commission.

The organisation, however, applauded the concept behind the bill, among other provisions, noting that when the observed sections were amended and passed into law,  they would help the fiscal machinery of the state.

- Advertisement -

In response, Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly  Aniekan Bassey claimed that passing the discovered irregularities to the concerned ministries involved and the governor would not lead to cover-up.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker Felicia Bassey, the House helmsman noted that

“When it finally comes to Public Account, people are meant to answer and properly dealt with.

“So, I don’t think he covers anything. We are here to do the last clearing and people have gone in for it.”

The Audit Commission Bill was first read on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Its second reading took place on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 and public hearing on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

Recent

Finance experts make case for venture capital  in CBN’s N15trn Infrastructure Fund

FINANCIAL experts are making a strong case for venture capital to boost Nigeria’s infrastructural...

Emmanuel signs Akwa Ibom’s anti-open grazing bill into law

AKWA Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday, signed the state’s anti-open grazing bill...

Analysts want govt assets in equity market as CBN eyes international financial centre

FINANCIAL experts have urged the Central Bank to work towards enlisting the government’s corporate...

Naira weakens to N562/$ in parallel market amid drop in inflation

NIGERIA'S naira is sinking against the dollar in the parallel market, closing at N562/$...

Akwa Ibom House of Assembly passes anti-open grazing bill

A bill prohibiting open grazing in Akwa Ibom State has been passed by the...
Advertisement

Most Read

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisement