Auditor-General of the Federation charges auditors on quality reports

•Calls for passage of audit bill

Auditor-General of the Federation, Mrs Florence Anyanwu has charged public sector auditors to play their constitutional roles by writing audit reports that will engender efficient management of public resources and exhume corrupt practices.

She however, said the auditors were currently being hampered by lack of independence of their offices as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution.

Anyanwu spoke at the opening of the 46th Conference of Body of Federal and State Auditors General on Tuesday observed that giving independence to auditors as stipulated by Sections 85 and 125 of the Constitution, “much still has to be done in giving effect to the spirit of the Constitution.

“This can only be achieved if the Office of the Auditor-General has an Audit Act that provides for its financial and administrative independence.”

Presently, Anyanwu stated that there is a bill that has been passed by the House of Representatives and is going through concurrence at the Senate.

At the federal level, she noted that “to ensure that auditor’s independence is not compromised, each member of an audit team must complete and sign code of ethics declaration form before embarking on any audit assignment. This allows for potential threat to independence, to be identified while appropriate measure(s) are taken.”

Good governance she said entails openness and transparency in the conduct of government business, with a view to meeting the aspirations of tax payers at the minimum cost.

This she stated “connotes that public officers are, incorruptible and upright in the discharge of their responsibilities. However, attainment of Sustainable Development will be a mirage if there is absence of good governance.”

She argued that “there must be adequate measures to block all leakages of public funds that government sources of revenue are enhanced and revenue collected are properly accounted for. If the public sector audit assurance process is compromised, the ability of future generations of this country to meet their aspirations would have been compromised as well.”

For tax payers to get value for public money spent, Anyanwu noted that “auditors can respond by carrying out performance audit of government Programmes and/or projects but they must keep pace with global development in public sector auditing.”

According to her, “our work must conform to international best practices through the use of manuals, standards agreements of audit scope/responsibility with audited entity, timely issuance of audit reports, reports that are based on facts (sufficient audit evidence), among others.”

She challenged auditors “to stand up and be counted, as facilitators of the attainment of the success of the fight against corruption through professional conduct of audit assignments and issuance of quality audit reports which will ultimately lead to positive action.”

Anyanwu and others lamented the poor funding the office of the AuGF has been subjected to. “All we need to do is ensure that our reports are out there to convince government on the contributions we can make towards the growth of the economy and that funding the AuGF is of great benefit to the country.”

The greatest challenge she has had to contend with in her short stay as Acting Auditor General of the Federation, Anyanwu said “funding is our greatest challenge, because right now we have the political will in the president in order to be able to up our games in terms of accountability process but we need money because most of our job entails moving around the country so we need funding to be able to do what we need to do and a whole of things are happening in terms of IT, we are moving into a whole lot of platforms so we also need to be equipped to get that done. In terms of the support we do have the support to do our job.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Secretary of the body of Federal and State Auditors-General, Mr. Sunday Adegoke who is also Auditor-General for Ondo State said “the objective of audit is to express opinion of the financial state of the various governments we are auditing.

“If the financial statements are not prepared in the first place, then there is nothing to express opinion about”, he noted while responding to a question as to the effectiveness of public auditors in the face of scores of arrests and prosecutions by anti-graft agencies.

Said he “we have instances where public institutions do not prepare accounts or do not do it on time and submitted to the Auditor General for auditing, there is nothing the Auditor General could have done. Now even when the accounts are submitted to the Auditors General and the auditing is done, what the constitution requires us to do is to submit our report to the National Assembly.

“But the thing is, our responsibility ends at the point of submitting these reports. We do not have prosecutorial powers like the EFCC and other anti graft agency,” he said.

Initiates Plc lists 887m shares, projects N1bn revenue increase

Kehinde Akinseinde-Jayeoba, Lagos

The Initiates Plc has listed it’s shares on the Alternative Securities Market (Asem) index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with a volume of 887 million units at 85 kobo per share.

Welcoming the listing, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyeama, at the Fact Behind Listing on Tuesday, commends the efforts of The lnitiates Plc for submitting itself to international best practices in governance by listing it’s shares.

He noted that the admission of the company into market placed it on a pedestal for growth and sustainability. “The Exchange is committed to helping indigenous companies grow into globally competitive brands whilst facilitating the creation of durable wealth and engendering the sustainability of emerging businesses in Nigeria, through our ASeM Board,” he said.

According to Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Executive Director, Capital Market Division, (CMD), “This listing, will add seven hundred and fifty six million, four hundred and eighty four thousand, three hundred and nineteen naira, twenty kobo (N756, 484, 319.20) to the market capitalisation of The Exchange. But more importantly, it will increase the visibility of The Initiates Plc and differentiate it as one with high corporate governance standards, having met the stringent listing criteria of the NSE

The company offers contracting and consultancy services in waste Management, industrial cleaning and decontamination to Private and Public sectors including the Oil & Gas Industry.

The Managing Director of the Initiates Plc, Reuben Ossai, explained that with the listing, the company’s revenue is projected at N750 million and one billion naira at the end of year 2016 and 2017, while noting that being on the Nigerian Bourse would increase its global visibility.

He added that the company is set to diversify beyond the oil and gas sector by growing maintainace services across all industrial sector, focusing on waste management subsectors, among others.

The Initiates Plc is the first waste management company to be listed on The Exchange. The company offers contracting and consultancy services in waste Management, industrial cleaning and decontamination to Private and Public sectors including the Oil & Gas Industry.