‘N9.7 billion unaccounted for in 2017 audit report’
A new report released by the Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has revealed that N9. 7b on 32 projects was yet to be accounted for in the 2017 audit report.
In its new publication titled: “Value For Money Handbook, Issue Two,” it expressed disappointment over the recurring and flagrant disregard for the Public Procurement Act
Executive Director of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, who disclosed this in Abuja at a media briefing, stated that of the N17b released for implementation of 32 projects in 17 states and the FCT in 2017, N9.7b was yet to be accounted for as revealed in the audit report.
He pointed out that the unaccounted funds when compared to similar publication in 2016 Audit Report of the federation where about N2. 97billion was unaccounted for, showed an increase in N6. 8b or 70.1 per cent, indicating that accountability in the utilisation of public funds in the country was getting worse.
Stressing the need for the country to ensure that public funds were not just spent, but also accounted for, Elemo wondered why Nigerians were not asking questions of how to ensure that the N13tr budget estimate for 2021 would be well utilised.
He said there was no justification for the country to continue to spend money without accountability and adequate audit mechanism.
“How do you use a 1956 Audit Act to evaluate 2020 budget? It is completely unreasonable and the lack of accountability is the foundation of our problems today.
What the youth are protesting against today is not just the failure of the policing system or SARS, but the failure of an entire democratic culture that continues to keep young people under,” he stated.
Elemo stressed the need to empower the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to play more effective role in ensuring that public funds begin to work for Nigerians, adding that there was the need to put in place modern audit law that would ensure value for money, guarantees services are effectively delivered to the people and make budgets work for the people.
He added that the office of the Auditor General should be tenure-based and not limited by age, noting that it was also important to implement the succession plan as provided in Section 86 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
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