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Senate passes bill giving Auditor-General free access to accounts of MDAs, embassies, NNPC, CBN

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill that gives independence and sweeping powers to the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The Bill, which is known as the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill will help to establish a more independent Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation that will be able to carry out forensic audits of all revenues that accrue to the Federation and grant the Office unfettered access to the books of agencies and parastatals including the CBN and NNPC.

This Bill also establishes the Federal Audit Service Commission; repeals the outdated Audit Act of 1956; and establishes a new legislative framework that will help to bring a new level of accountability and probity in the finances of the government by blocking the various leakages that exist.

If the bill is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Auditor-General will head the Federal Audit Service Commission which will among other good givernance responsibilites,audit:

  • Public private partnerships entered into by the Federal government and its agencies assets.
  • All Nigerian embassies, consulates and foreign missions
  • Performance information
  • Disaster related grants and aids
  • All Federal government and its agencies subsidies and their application
  • All federal government and its agencies’ counterpart funded projects in the country
  • Classified expenditure
  • International institutions to the extent of Nigeria’s contribution to such bodies

Speaking after the passage, Senate President Bukola Saraki said it was commendable that  the National Assembly are the sponsors and movers of the bill.

He said that “with our passage of several anti-corruption Bills like the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill; the Whistleblower Protection Bill; the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill; the Witness Protection Bill; and today’s passage of the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill, we have gone a long way in this administration in our fight against corruption.

“Moving forward, we will work to get this Bill in a timely manner to Mr. President for his assent, and we will continue to play our part in this fight against corruption for the sake our country”

He added: “Today is a landmark achievement in the fight against corruption. This is will bring accountability and probity in the finances of the government and the fight against corruption.”

 

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