Bukola Imam, Ilorin
Grassroots Development Monitoring and Advocacy Centre (GDMAC), a registered nongovernmental organization to promote transformative governance has described the enactment of the new Public Audit Law in Kwara State as laudable achievement.
The good governance team said the new (Kwara State Public Audit Law no. 4 of 2021) legislation was assented to by the State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on Thursday, June 30, 2021; following a speedy passage of the Executive Bill by the Kwara State House of Assembly after a public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Public Accounts on Monday, June 28, 2021.
A release by Tunde Salman Jimoh, Executive Director of the organization stated that “the new audit law repeals the outdated colonial (and post) era audit legislations hitherto guiding
public accounts audits in the state.
“Like many other states across the federation, it is instructive to reiterate that prior to this new audit law, Kwara State has a set of very outdated laws and regulations that governs its public audit process (aside the general constitutional basis) namely:
the Audit Act of 1956 and/or the Audit Law Cap II of the Laws of Northern Nigeria (Kwara
state); Kwara State Government Financial Regulation Act 2000; Guides to Administrative
Procedure in Kwara State 2006; and various Treasury Circulars issued occasionally by the
Office of Accountant General to guide financial transactions in all MDAs in the state.
“While the new audit law may not adequately captures all the submissions made at the public
hearing by the civil society and other major stakeholders, GDMAC however views as a welcome
development the enactment of a modern audit law for the state.”
The organization added that with the expansion in scope and growth of public sector activities, it is gratifying that the constitutional foundations of the subnational Audit Institutions are now further detailed out more specifically in this emergent progressive audit legislation for Kwara State.
The team stated further, “Meanwhile, beyond the speedy enactment of Kwara State Public Audit Bill 2021, GDMAC strongly stresses that the Offices of State and Local Governments Auditors-General must be adequately funded to fulfill their statutory constitutional mandates through first line charges on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state.
“The African Organization of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAIE) accordingrecommends that Auditors-General work with citizens and Civil Society Organizations
(CSOs) to determine their audit plan.
“The Kwara State House Assembly is urged to ensure the new legislation provides the Auditor-Generals with adequate human, material, and financial resources to perform their statutory constitutional
responsibilities without executive control or directing access to these resources.
“The legal, administrative, financial, and operational autonomy and/or independence of the
Offices of both the State and Local Governments Auditors-General is of paramount importance
for the greater transparency and accountability of the Kwara State public administration at both
the state and local government levels.”