Some civil society organisations (CSOs) and anti-corruption groups have urged the Federal Government to sanction the MDAs and prosecute their heads indicted by the nation’s Auditor General in his annual report for economic sabotage.
The groups are Peering Advocacy and Advancement centre in Africa (PAACA), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), YIAGA Africa, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), African Centre for media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Yes Project, Social Action and Protest 2 Power.
Addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the leaders of the groups, namely Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, CISLAC; Ezenwa Nwagwu, Say No Campaign; Jaye Gaskia, Protest to Power, Chido Onuma, AFRICMIL; and Samson Itodo, YIAGA Africa, expressed concern that over 160 parastatals failed to submit their financial statements or management reports to the office of the Auditor General as required by public finace guidelines.
They said this was in disregard of constitutional provision, section 85 of the 1999 constitution and the financial regulation 321 (v), which mandates all parastatals to make such submission annually.
“Interestingly, 11 more parastatals were reported to have never submitted their financial statements or audited financial reports, to the office of the AGF since their inception. Yet, they have continued to enjoy resources appropriated by the National Assembly and the office of Budget and National Planning for subsequent years.
“Yet if we are to curb wastages in public finance, if we are to enthrone transparency and accountability, and if we are to fight corruption effectively, the way we organise and treat the audit process must change and be radically transformed,” they said.
According to them, it highly irresponsible and unacceptable and that this directly indicts not just the defaulting parastatals, but also the National Assembly and the office of Budget and National Planning as complicit in this ongoing fraud.
They said the National Assembly receives annual audited financial report as submitted by the office of the Auditor General whose remarks indicted the erring parastatals but that in sheer disregard, the National Assembly pass subsequent appropriation to these MDAs.
The civil society groups regretted that this was without recourse to the report submitted, and in violation of its Acts, thereby, abetting the obvious impunity exhibited by erring parastatals in ignoring their constitutional duty to be accountable in spending public funds.
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