The Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, says the continued poor implementation of recommendations in the auditor-general’s inspections and annual reports remains a huge clog in the efforts to rid the country’s public sector of corruption.
Ayine was speaking with a delegation from the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) led by its Executive Secretary, Sharon Ikeazor, who paid him a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
He said implementing the recommendations contained in the reports by the management of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would deter those determined to perpetuate corruption in the public service.
He said this would also promote a more transparent and accountable system.
He, however, expressed sadness that such audit findings are largely not acted upon.
“The impact of audit work we do is in the value it adds by creating improvements in the system,” he said.
Re-echoing President Muhammadu Buhari’s words, he said, “If we don’t kill corruption, by implementing these audit recommendations, corruption will kill us as a country.”
He said the fight against corruption cannot be won by any single individual or organisation but through collaboration by all.
The auditor-general stressed the need for the management of MDAs to live up to their responsibility of exercising strong internal controls in the public service to ensure probity and accountability.
He commended the Executive Secretary of PTAD for her efforts in repositioning the office and ensuring the prompt payment of pensions to retirees.
Mr Ayine noted that there has been a remarkable improvement since Mrs Ikeazor took over the office and assured her his office would continue to provide relevant support to her work.
In her remarks, Ikeazor told the auditor-general that the pension agency has always acted on the recommendations of the OAuGF’s annual report.
She said a personnel audit carried out in 2015 resulted in the disengagement of four directors found to have been irregularly employed when they were above the age of 50 years.
The official also sought the advice of the auditor-general in implementing the recovery of monies paid to the four dismissed directors during the time of their engagement and to return same to the treasury.
She also requested that more auditors be deployed to PTAD to support the ongoing Parastatals Pensioner Verification Exercise, as federal auditors previously sent to the agency were very useful.
According to her, the officials helped save the government billions of naira that could have been fraudulently diverted.