Stakeholders move to speed devpt, rid public service of corruption

By John Odunjo

Stakeholders in the public audit process gathered for two days in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to work towards ensuring accountability in a bid to rid the public service of corruption and speed up development in the state.

They urged support of civic groups, professional bodies and media actors for the State Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee of the State House of Assembly to track and advance advocacy for the implementation of the recommendations and resolutions on audit issues.

This, the participants at the two-day “Audit engagement forum and accountability dialogue for stakeholders in the public auditing process of Ekiti State”, said, would assist “to promote accountability, reduce public sector corruption and accelerate development in the state”.

The programme was organised by the Office of the Auditor General of Ekiti State in partnership with the Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative through the support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Stakeholders were drawn from diverse constituencies including the Office of the State Auditor-General, Ekiti Assembly PAC, audited government agencies, civil society organisations, media, persons with disability, community leaders, professional bodies, trade and labour unions.

These were contained in a communique at the end of the event with the theme, “Audit Engagement Forum and Accountability Dialogue for Stakeholders in the public auditing process of Ekiti State.

The stakeholders’ advised the Office of the Auditor-General and Ekiti Assembly PAC “to strengthen working relationship with civil society organizations, professional bodies, media groups and other non-state actors to enhance public audit practices, promote citizens’ engagement and accelerate sustainable development in Ekiti State”.

They charged the Office of the Auditor-General on the need to work with the Assembly PAC, Ministry of Justice and other relevant agencies “to enact a legislation establishing PAC tribunal for the enforcement of sanctions emanating from the resolutions of the State House of Assembly on audit issues”.

Participants at the programme targeted at strengthening public audit practices and accountability at the state level in Nigeria also charged CSOs, professional bodies and the media to prepare and submit a proposal of engagement incorporating citizens’ participatory audit in the work of the Auditor General for Ekiti State.

Among others, they said, “There is need for continuous capacity strengthening for all actors in the public audit action cycle to enhance their knowledge and proficiency to effectively and efficiently discharge their audit functions.

“The Office of the Auditor-General for State, Local Governments and the PAC of Ekiti State House of Assembly should bridge the information gap by proactively disclosing vital accountability information via their websites and social media platforms.

They urged the Office of the Auditor-General for Ekiti State to host its website as soon as possible.

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