By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday lamented that only 10 percent of agencies and parastatals of the Federal Government have submitted their audited reports.
The lawmaker representing Edo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Mr Matthew Urhoghide, while addressing his colleagues on Wednesday, decried the low level of compliance of agencies of government in the submission of the audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
In a report of the Committee on Public Accounts presented to the floor of the Senate today, it was revealed that only 47 of the 497 parastatals of the Federal Government have done the needful.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, frowned at this development, saying this was dragging the fight against corruption backward.
“I want to thank the committee for this very important report. We can now see that when they keep saying that we are not making such progress in the fight against corruption, it is because of the fundamental issues. The foundation is still very weak.
“If we have 497 parastatals and only 47 have sent their audited reports, I think there is a serious problem,” the Senate President said.
Speaking further, he said, “Now, we found out that the agencies that are even meant to supervise are part of those who have not sent in their audit reports.”
“Now, we have taken a resolution here today to say that unless the remaining agencies submit their audited reports, their budgets for 2018 is withheld.
“Therefore, let us remember that when we are passing the 2018 budget, the committees that are presenting the reports of the parastatals should please confirm to us whether they have complied with the auditors’ report,” Mr Saraki said.
“In the meantime, we will make sure that we also communicate to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to ensure that all these parastatals get their accounts audited and submitted.
“I thank you for this report, it will go a long way in us continue to support the Executive in the fight against corruption,” the Senate President concluded.
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