The Auditor General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine has called on internal auditors to join the Federal Government in the fight against corruption.
Mr Ayine made the call on Tuesday at the National Conference/Annual General meeting of Committee of Heads of Internal Audit Department/units of Nigeria Universities, CHADINU.
The conference held at the Kwara State University, KWASU, Malete, has its theme as ‘Fight against corruption in Nigeria: The role of Internal Auditors’.
He said an effective audit function was among other vital factors that mitigate corruption, saying that internal auditor has limitless role to play in the fight against corruption in the country.
”Internal audit is a managerial control which functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of internal control system in an organisation.
”The department offers insight and advise to management, investigate frauds, ensure accuracy of records and improve operations through independent, objective assessment and recommendations.
”So, the Internal Audit function has the privilege of first defence in corruption prevention, detection and mitigation.
”All revenue estimates are to be monitored by the Internal Audit because it provides an independent review of organisation’s operations.
”With an effective Internal Audit, the tips, by accident, internal controls and external audits and all other sources of exposure of corruption are within the ambient of the Internal Audit Function,” Mr Ayine said.
The auditor general urged Internal Auditors in universities to wake up from their slumber to their responsibilities and audit revenues and subventions.
”Most of the universities now are complaining of lack of funds, but how effectively are the ones gotten used?
”The Internal Auditors should ask questions on how the gotten subventions are used and what happens to revenues generated,” Mr Ayine said.
Also speaking, Former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, said the thrust of the discourse was crucial if Nigeria would join its sisters in developing world.
He said integrity was very important in the field of auditing because of the apparent temptations associated with their responsibilities.
”The importance of your job to the survival and financial health of your institution cannot be overemphasised, so your integrity should be held in high esteem as your job.
”The quickest way of ruining an organisation is the castration of her internal audit capacity.
”The similitude of an auditor in an institution, who compromises his duty is that of an insect living and feeding on kolanut, whereby the end of the kolanut is the end of the insect,” Salami said.
He, however, noted that there was the need for special training and re-training for auditors.
CHIADINU Chairman, Kadir Abdulraheem said not all Internal Auditors are incorruptible.
”If we must live up to expectations, we must never be found wanting in the discharge of our duties.
”You should not allow any form of gratification or give room to unnecessary favouritism.
”As an upright internal auditor, let your salaries and allowances be enough for you and never use your office to unjustly favour yourself or your cronies.
”At all times, our watchwords must be prudence, transparency, probity and accountability for effective and efficient service delivery,” Mr Abdulraheem said.
Earlier in his speech, KWASU VC, Abdulrasheed Na’Allah challenged universities to make the desired impact in the society and stop the continuous chorus of lack of funds.
”Funds can never be enough, just like time and not until our universities make judicious use of their subventions and internally generated revenues, the complaints won’t stop,” Mr Na’Allah said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference which started on November 19 will end on November 23.