The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation would be strengthened in order to boost the current administration’s fight against corruption, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the new office complex for the AGF. The eight-storey edifice, located in the Central Business District of the nation’s capital, has 240 rooms.
The building is equipped with two giant 500KVA standby generators; water treatment plants and two boreholes; three elevators and three inverters to power the elevators in case of power failure.
A visibly elated President Jonathan said the inauguration of the complex was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to guarantee the independence of the AGF office.
This, according to him, will not only ensure that there is accountability in the management of the nation’s resources, but also ensure that the fight against corruption is won.
He noted that if auditors performed their jobs efficiently, the anti-graft bodies such as the EFCC and ICPC would have less work to do.
Jonathan said, “An effective and efficient AGF office will not only guarantee accountability but will ensure that our fight against corruption is won.
“I commend the AGF for the successful realisation of this project in this important year of our centenary. I will like to assure you that government will do everything possible within the ambit of the law and available resources to support your office.
“If the office of the AGF carries out its functions very well, then even the institutions set up by government, which look into corruption cases will have less work to do because they would have done the basic work.
“From the result of the auditing, investigations become easier. And I think that this office needs to be strengthened so that you will help Nigerians”.
The president also used the occasion to commend the National Assembly for its consideration of the audit bill, noting that this would further help to guarantee the independence of the office of the AGF.
Earlier, the AGF, Mr. Samuel Ukura, hailed the president for granting approval for the acquisition of the office complex and called for increased funding to the office.
According to Ukura, the office needed more funding in view of the increase in operational costs as a result of the new audit areas, which he said were in line with global best practice.
On the submission of annual audit reports to the National Assembly, the AGF informed Mr. Jonathan that the office had submitted the audit report for 2012 while the report for the 2013 fiscal year would soon be ready for submission.