The Auditor General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has reported that more Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) breached the requirements on the submission of their audited financial statements to his office in year 2017 as against 160 that defaulted in the preceding year.
Ayine, in the latest 2017 Audit Report published by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation on Wednesday reported further that apart from the number of defaulting MDAs rising significantly, 11 MDAs had never submitted their financial statements to his office since his assumption of office.
The Auditor General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, had through a letter with Ref No AuGF/AR 2017/CONF./01 dated 22nd July 2019 addressed to the Clerk of the National Assembly submitted the copies of the Audit Report for the Legislators’ information and necessary action.
The audit expert lamented that although the Financial Statements of government statutory corporations, companies, commissions, etc., were not expected to be audited by his office by virtue of the relevant constitutional provisions, efforts by the Office to make the affected agencies/ companies submit the statements for his comments failed.
For instance, Ayine alleged that some of the corporations, companies and commissions had not submitted their audited accounts to his Office as at 30th June 2019, despite the Financial Regulation 3210(v) provisions, which make it mandatory for the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the bodies to submit both the audited accounts and management reports to his office not later than 31st May of the following year of Accounts
The Auditor General for the Federation, who noted that there had been some marked improvement in the audit report process since his last report, recommended that the CEOs of the defaulting agencies should be sanctioned, including withholding financial releases to such agencies.
Ayine also reported major weaknesses and lapses in the MDAs’ management of public funds and resources during the annual audit, stating that the weaknesses and lapses should be addressed in order to improve the efficiency of the federal public finance system.
He stated: “A number of major weaknesses and lapses in the management of public funds and resources were identified across several MDAs during the annual audit. A separate section is therefore included in this annual report to highlight the key issues.
“Our findings range from irregular expenditures to failure to surrender surplus revenues to the Treasury, all running into billions of naira. Also notable was the continuing failures in the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
“Overall, our findings are indicative of significant weaknesses in expenditure control, accounting, financial reporting and in the completeness and accuracy of the consolidated financial statements”, the AuGF added.
Similarly, Ayine also observed deficiencies in the financial reporting and consolidation process, particularly in the process for consolidating the balances of the MDAs into one economic entity in addition to significant discrepancies in the accounting records as well as material balances, all of which, he advocated, should be reconciled.
The chartered accountant and audit expert canvassed the need to adequately define the consolidation boundary for the Federal Governments’ financial statements.