Account auditing infractions in Nigeria carry five-year prison sentences.
The National Assembly recently enacted a measure that imposes a five-year prison sentence on any accounting officer who obstructs the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation from accessing their account books. This development coincides with the passage of that bill.
The House of Representatives had already approved the proposed law, and the Senate agreed with them.
Ibrahim Gobir, the Senate’s leader, presided over the discussion for the concurrence that the red chamber accepted before adjourning to the committee of the whole.
Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the head of the Senate Public Accounts Committee, told media that
In the eighth Senate, the Measure was approved. It aims to enhance the Federation’s Auditor General’s office.
According to Section 85 of the Constitution, the Office is tasked with preventing systemic corruption in Nigeria by auditing every government ministry, department, and agency’s spending.
The Federation’s Office of the Auditor General is separate from the executive branch of government. He has a close relationship with the National Assembly.
The Federal Audit Commission will be established as the bill’s second component, and it will have the authority to hire the right personnel and administer punishment and promotion.
The Audit House now employs people who did not study accounting, most likely for political reasons, despite the fact that Audit is a highly odd department.
The Commission will be in charge of hiring qualified personnel who can audit the financial records of the more than 797 government entities.
For the nation to be able to achieve that, a qualified workforce is required.
The office of the Auditor General for the Federation formerly employed nearly 3000 people, but it currently only has 1200.
The 8th National Assembly approved the law, but President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign it. He received bad advice from certain executive members about doing it. His actions ran counter to the President’s anti-corruption platform throughout the presidential campaign. We assumed that he withheld his agreement because he had not been fully informed.
According to the 9th Assembly, passing the Federal Audit Service Law, which would prevent corruption from occurring, is one of the legacies we must leave behind.
The role of the Auditor General for the Federation has essentially been replaced by the anti-corruption agency.
It was unconstitutional to set up the forensic audit for the Niger Delta Development Commission. It is the responsibility of the Federation’s Auditor General.
In 1956, we passed the first audit ordinance. A legislation that has been in force for more than 60 years has finally been modified.
The office of the Federation’s Auditor General now has more authority.
The least punishment we now propose for a person is either five years in jail, a fine of $5 million, or both.
or either. We refused the House of Representatives’ offer of N500,000 or two years in jail. This is so that the punishment can effectively prevent future offenses. Thus, the punishment must be harsh.
Corporate agencies who for years refused to have their finances audited must pay a fine of N20m; the house had suggested N10m, but we objected.