By Samuel Ogidan
The Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Anthony Ayine, has said that his office is hit by shortage of workers and can therefore not audit 471 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Ayine said that he has only 1,500 members of staff to undertake the huge task.
When he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account to defend the agency’s 2018 budget on Monday, Ayine appealed to the panel to increase his officea��s budget.
He further explained why the Federal Government should recruit more workers for the office of the AGF.
Ayine said: “It should be noted that the Federal Government has 471 parastatals and agencies and the Auditor-General of the Federation is required to comment on their audited financial statements.
“Due to inadequate capacity and the complex nature of some of the accounts, the review and comment of the audited financial statements of some of the agencies have to be outsourced.
“It is important to note that the current workforce will significantly be depleted when 54 officers and 139 officers retire from service this year.
“If no further recruitments are made to improve the strength of the workforce, this depleted workforce could constitute critical threats to the functioning of the office.
“For the office to function and achieve results, personnel cost budget ceilings of N1.909billion should be replaced by a new personnel cost budget ceilings of N3.424billion,” he said.
In his response, the committeea��s Chairman, Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), said that “if this government truly wants to fight corruption then it must properly fund the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
“In the civilised clime, strong institutions are built not persons because here it’s who pays the piper that dictates the tunes and that is why the audit department should be independent of the three arms of government,a�? he said.
By Samuel Ogidan