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NASS plans 5-year jail term for account officers who breach audit bill

The National Assembly on Wednesday, prescribed a five-year jail term against any accounting office who makes on demand account books inaccessible to the Auditor-General of the Federation.

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The prescription followed the passage of the Federal Audit Service bill with the upper chamber in agreement with the lower chamber on the proposed legislation.

Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, however, moved the debate for the concurrence which the Senate okayed after dissolving to the committee of the Whole.

But the chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (APC Edo South), told journalists after plenary that the bill, which was first passed in the 8th Senate, seeks to strengthen the office of the Auditor General for the Federation.

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In his words, “The Office of the Auditor General for the Federation is supposed to check systemic corruption by checking all expenditure of the ministries, departments and agencies of government as provided for by Section 85 of the Constitution.

“The Office of the Auditor General for the Federation is independent of the executive arm of government. It relates directly with the National Assembly.

However, the second aspect of the bill seeks the establishment of the Federal Audit Commission to be able to recruit the proper staff, discipline and promotion.

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This is because it was noted with dismay that the Audit has a populated staff who did not study accounting but employed in the audit department probably for political reasons.

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