Lagos Assembly set to amend audit law



The Lagos State House of Assembly has concluded arrangements to
bolster the Audit Law in the state, so as to accord the Auditing frame
of the state some level of independence.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa made this assertion
during a day public hearing on A Law to Amend the Lagos State Audit
Law on Friday, adding that a government must be transparent.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who represented Obasa said
that the government needed to generate revenue to cater for the needs
of the people with the need that government’s money must be spent for
the purposes it is meant for.

“We are considering a situation where the Central Internal Audit
Department is very important and we must continue to make it
functional and effective. The central internal audit is previously
domiciled in Public Finance Management Law; we want to repeal that
law. The Bill seeks to amend 12 Sections of the law, take it to Audit
Service Commission and bring all the auditors under one umbrella to
exclude the control of Central Internal Audit from the Ministry of
Finance.

“It is to extend the application of the audit law to local government
audit commission.It is also to take care of little lapses in the law
and strengthen our audit system in the state,” he said.

In his welcome address, Chairman of the House Committee on Public
Accounts, Hon. Moshood Oshun said that the amendment was necessary.

Hon. Oshun added that the auditors, who he said were the state police,
serve as checks and balances on the state’s budget.

The lawmaker stated that the auditors monitor the state’s
expenditures, and commended the Auditor General of the state for what
she has been doing.

Oshun promised that the House would do its best and do the utmost for
the auditors so that the tax payers would have confidence in the
government.

“We will do everything within our powers for the auditors to give the
best so that they can give us a good report, which would be properly
treated. I want to appeal to the auditors to do the best within their
ability so that we can have the Lagos of our dream that can be
compared to any state in the world.

“You must do everything possible to be the state police on auditing.We
must all contribute objectively to make the bill a better one. You can
give us a memo to have a bill that we all can be proud of,” he said.

In his contribution, Chairman of the Lagos State Audit Service
Commission, Mr. Waliu Abiodun Onibon observed that the original bill
was passed in 2010 and not 2015, and that the Permanent Secretary to
be appointed should be a chartered accountant by profession, saying
that he is in-charge of in-house administration.

He suggested that the Chairman of the Commission should also be a
professional accountant with cognate experience.

The State Auditor General, Mrs. Morenike Helen Deile stated that
Public Sector Audit experience must be different from private
experience, and that the two of them must have public sector
experience.

Deile added that the commission would formulate polices, while the
audit agencies would implement the policies.

“The Auditor General would be appointed on the recommendations of the
State Civil Service Commission. Local Government Service Commission
has nothing to do with it, it should be Audit Service Commission.

“Public financial management is a global framework. We should not
repeal the provision in that law,” she said.

The Auditor General, who welcomed the amendment, stated that it would
further empower auditors.

She stressed that there was no issue with her staff and that the MDAs
have improved.

“There are always challenges because nobody wants to be audited. But
by and large because of education we are not hostile to them, we are
now strategic partners.

“The Lagos State Government started electronic financial system years
back, but we cannot cut off from paper auditing just like that.

“We do electronic auditing of basic agencies that are on the platform.
We even train system auditors amongst us and we give reports to the
Assembly. We are telling the MDAs to do proper record keeping,” she
said.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Internal
Auditors, Mr. Humphrey Okorie said that the state was moving closer to
international best practise on auditing, and commended the stat for
the establishment of Audit Service Commission.

Composition of the commission

Okorie advised that the commission should comprise a chairman and four
others with a professional accountant and a professional auditor with
10 years experience.

He observed that there was a difference between internal auditing and
accounting even if they are related.

According to him, an experienced auditor should be appointed as the
Permanent Secretary, while there should be a Bureau for Internal Audit
Services for the effectiveness of governance system and processes.

He added that internal auditors ought to be in various agencies to
ensure that the necessary systems work.

“The head of Bureau for Internal Audit Services should be appointed by
the Governor with cognate experience.

“He should not be at the director level. He should be reviewing and
maintain services and ensure proper accountability and transparency,”
he said.

Mrs. Joko Ogundimu from the Lagos State Audit Service Commission, said
that he main function of the Audit Service Commission is human
resource management of auditors.

Ogundimu stated that the government must recruit people with
experience in human resource management.

“Office of the Auditor General for Lagos State and Local Government
should be Office of Auditor General for Lagos State, Local Government,
and Internal Audit.

People in internal audit should have the appropriate experience. The
status of the head of Central Internal Audit must also be a Permanent
Secretary,” she said.



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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design & development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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