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Disquiet over non-appointment of federal auditor general

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There is disquiet in the federal civil service over government’s failure to appoint a new Auditor General for the Federation [AuGF] six months after the last occupant, Samuel Okura, retired at the mandatory age of 60.

Okura on retirement was replaced by Mrs. Florence Anyanwu, Director of Audit in charge of Legislature, Judiciary and Security Agencies Department, who was in acting capacity for six months that expired last Monday.

The Federal Civil Service Commission had advertised and conducted an interview to fill the vacant post six months ago and a committee reportedly raised to advise the Presidency on the appropriate candidate for the position. But as of yesterday no action had been taken on a replacement.

The commission told The Guardian that it had duly concluded the selection and recommendation made to the Presidency, which is expected to nominate one of the recommended candidates to the National Assembly for confirmation.

The commission’s spokesman, Dr. Joel Oruche, said: “We have already submitted the names of the recommended persons to the president for final selection and approval before passing it to the National Assembly for confirmation. We are sure that the announcement will soon be made.”

However, some civil servants said the vacuum was capable of leading to lack of direction in the sensitive agency the AuGF supervises.

One of them, who spoke to The Guardian under anonymity, said: “Nobody is in charge here. Staff members are free to indulge in any malfeasance and there is nobody to mete out punishment. I have never seen this kind of laxity anywhere in the world.”

Another pointed out that the implication of the lack of leadership could affect the 2015 audit report of federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), which it was in the process of submitting to the National Assembly.

Under the Nigerian Constitution, the OAuGF is mandated to submit audited financial statements of the preceding year by the end September of the succeeding year to the National Assembly. This will enable the lawmakers to look at how the public finance had been kept by chief executives of government agencies. Last year’s report is already in default of that constitutional provision, a blame attributed to the leadership void.


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