The Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, has blamed the rot and corruption in the oil and gas sector on the lack of political will by the country’s leadership, especially the National Assembly.
Speaking at the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) Roundtable on Oil and Gas Reforms, in Abuja, Ukura also lamented that the legal framework within which it operates is now obsolete.
The Auditor-General was represented by a Director in the Extra-Ministerial Audit Department, Mr. Rotimi Dada. He disclosed that since 1999, none of the reports prepared by his office had been brought to the plenary sessions of the National Assembly.
According to him, sanctions listed in the recommendations of its audits were rarely carried out. All these, he noted, had served to promote corruption in critical sectors of the economy, and therefore, became a hindrance in the discharge of its duties.
“The legal framework within which we operate is a major challenge to our major activity, which is the auditing of the country’s accounts. The office of the Auditor-General of the Federation operates under the 1956 Ordinance, which has become obsolete.
“Since 1999, none of the reports of the Auditor-General has been taken to plenary. These do not augur well for our activities,” the Auditor-General said.
He also cited the lack of political will to implement the office recommendations as one of the major problems in the fight against corruption.
According to him, leadership problem was the cause of the huge losses suffered in the Nigerian oil and gas sector as well as in other critical sectors of the economy.
Ukura, therefore, called on Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to continue putting pressure on the relevant authorities on the need to implement the recommendations of its audit reports.