The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has revealed the reason 65 agencies have never been audited since they were created.
Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, made the disclosure at the opening of the ‘National Workshop on Auditor-General’s Queries: The A-B-C of Responses, PAC Technology Innovations and MDAs’ Compliance’ in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies aside from the 65 agencies were not audited from 1993 to 2010 and that is because they failed to submit their audited reports to the Auditor-General for the Federation.
He said, “Sixty-five agencies have never been audited before. This is an issue that is still before the National Assembly. The names of the agencies will be made known to the public after or when the House starts to consider it.
“85 did not submit in 2012, 109 did not in 2013, 148 did not in 2014, 215 did not submit in 2015, and 323 did not submit in 2016.
“The 2016 report of the OAuGF threw up quite a number of intractable issues which then required a very careful scrutiny even with the previous years’ reports.
“Prominent among these issues were refusal by ministries, departments and agencies of government to render accounts of stewardship, and in many cases, these accounts were rendered very late.
“In addition to the above, 12 MDAs have never been audited from 1993 to 2010; and 65 agencies have never been audited since they were created. This situation gave rise to the well-publicised and just concluded public hearing on this subject matter to which all of you were witnesses.”
He added that in the course of representation by various MDAs, his committee noticed acts of impunity by the MDAs, which included the manual dumping of huge volumes of documents at the secretariat some few days before the hearing.
According to Oke, to address some of the issues, the PAC and all its interfacing stakeholders will no longer deal with hardcopy documents within its department and during the committee hearings. He also added that the defence of audit queries would now be electronically driven.
“A number of agencies were found wanting in terms of rendition of audited accounts to the auditor general of the federation.
“Constitutionally, for ministries, departments and agencies, the auditor general of the federation works on their accounts.
“The contemporary rules we have, especially concerning financial regulations, specify certain penalties to these agencies,” he said.
PAC Technical Adviser, Dr Greg Ezeilo, said over the years, most of the agencies had never been able to submit their accounts for audit.
He said, “Imagine a situation where over 65 agencies never ever made an account since they were created and they are still being funded by the federal government.”
He described it as a very sad situation.