By G9ija

The Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Anthony Ayine yesterday said the first interim audit report on the COVID-19 intervention funds will be released next week.

He said the maiden report will assess the utilisation of funds released to manage the pandemic starting from the period the Presidential Task Force (PTF) was established till June 30.

He added that the report will subsequently be published quarterly.

He however, declined to comment on the highlights of the report, citing administrative protocol of first submitting its findings to the National Assembly before making its content public.

Ayine spoke to journalists shortly after the executive members of the Conference of Auditors-General for Local Governments/Area Councils in Nigeria, led by its chairman, Mr. Atiku Musa, presented him with a special award for creating a functional Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), which they described as crucial for good governance in the country.

The AuGF also said the roles of permanent secretaries and chief executives of federal government owned parastatals remained crucial towards the successful execution and implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed N13.08 trillion budget for 2021.

“And this is the area we have started emphasising so that accounting officers should realise their key responsibilities and if these responsibilities are properly executed that is when the implementation of this budget would make meaning and the benefits will accrue to the Nigerian citizens.

“Audit essentially is not fault finding but to add value to the auditee organisation and if the management of auditee organisations are able to realise that the recommendation from the audit office should be implemented: because when implemented will bring about improvement in the performance of these organisations.

“It is our hope that going forward, chief accounting officers or accounting officers will see audit report as necessary instrument to help them improve performance their various organisation.”

However, while expressing appreciation for the recognition, he promised to sustain current reforms in the auditing system adding that the present administration recognises auditing as key to fighting corruption as well as entrenching transparency and accountability in public finance.

He charged auditors to be committed to performance audit as well as strive to sustain and improve on current reforms objectives.

Ayine also urged state governors to lend their support to state offices of auditors general adding that collaboration was required to ensure that development occurs at all levels of government.

Earlier, Musa said during his tenure, the AuGF had been able to institutionalise the statutory SAI comparable to the best in the world.