President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Auditors-General across the country to introduce strategies that will help stamp out corruption from the system.
Buhari, represented by Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, gave the advice while declaring open the 2021 Conference of Auditors-General in Nigeria (COAGN) on Monday in Benin.
The theme of the programme is “Securing Audit Independence Sustainability: The Urgency of Now”.
He said: “As you go into deliberations, I urge you to come with strategies on how to help stamp out corruption in Nigeria. We have no other country than Nigeria; it is by doing so that the future generations of Nigerians can thrive in this great nation.
“During my first inauguration, I told Nigerians that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. I have never hidden my disdain for corrupt practices and, therefore, welcome every opportunity to talk to those at the fore front of anti-corruption crusade like you auditors-general.
“The sustained fight against corruption is yielding positive results as witnessed by the high profile cases successfully investigated and prosecuted by agencies saddle with the tasks.
“My administration has strengthened anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to perform optimally without interference’’.
The president said that the efforts to enthrone good governance and accountability across ties of government could not yield the desired positive results if auditors- general did not stand up to play constitutional role as the people’s watchdog.
Buhari assured the Auditor-General of the Federation that his administration would continue to support him to enable him to discharge his constitutional mandate.
The president said that he would like to see the auditor- general audit the accounts of the UN and other world bodies in future.
Earlier, Mr Aghughu Arhotomhenla, Auditor-General of the Federation, in an address of welcome, commended Buhari for not interfering in his functions since assuming office.
Arhotomhenla said that the 2021 conference had presented the opportunity to critically assess their performance, especially in a post-lockdown era, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
In a goodwill message, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, represented by the Deputy Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Sen. Ibrahim Hassan, said that auditors were gate keepers as they were directly or indirectly faced with the duties of managing the limited resources.
Lawan said that auditors also kept proper bookkeeping for good governance and proper utilisation of funds.