Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Akwa Ibom Assembly ratifies 2016 audited accounts of state

Akwa Ibom Assembly ratifies 2016 audited accounts of state

Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has ratified the audited accounts of Akwa Ibom State government for year ended 31st December, 2016. This follows the adoption of the report of the Public Accounts Committee of the House as presented by the Chairman, Rt. Hon. Friday Iwok.

Speaker Onofiok Luke said the ratification indicates how much the house is committed to promoting fiscal responsibility and accountability by the current administration.

Submitting his report, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Iwok explained that “the Auditor General’s findings and recommendations in the audit report was published in one volume.

He said that “at the end of the painstaking exercise, the committee upheld and confirmed the state Auditor General’s recommendations in respect of ten cases involving the sum of N259,435 (Two Hundred and Fifty-nine Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Naira), which was fully recovered from the affected persons and remitted to government revenue accounts accordingly”.

The Chairman disclosed that the committee also reconciled and waived 55 cases amounting to N3,368,400,160 Billion, while nine cases amounting to N437,900 representing 0.013% were still pending as inconclusive cases. The Committee in its observation noted that Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government have embraced the arts of prompt retirement of imprest and proper records keeping as recommended by the committee.

The lawmakers also advised the State Accountant General to always ensure that qualified and experienced accounting personnel are assigned to head the accounting departments in order to minimize errors occasioned by inexperienced and unqualified staff.

The House in its resolution commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for prudent management of state funds as appropriated by the House of Assembly, and the zeal in ensuring that both the recurrent and capital expenditures of Akwa Ibom State for the year were within the limits of the approved budget.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke, hailed Governor Udom Emmanuel for his transparency in the management of state funds. He said the legislature has ensured that ‘’through the instrumentality of its over sight responsibilities, Akwa Ibom people get nothing less than accountability from the government’’.

According to him, transparency and accountability were at the heart of the campaign by this administration when it sought the people’s mandate in 2015. Almost three years down the road, there are clear pointers to the fact that this government has lived true to its promises. It has taken relatively bold steps to ensure it remains open and fiscally responsible to Akwa Ibom people. On our part as a house, we have ensured that through the instrumentality of legislative oversight, the people of our state get nothing less than accountability from this government”.

“The 6th assembly particularly has leveraged every legislative machinery to promote probity and due process in the management of our resources. Accordingly, the consideration of the auditor general’s report by the Public Accounts Committee was a measure we adopted to ensure decency in the disbursement and use of public funds by ministries, departments and agencies of state government as stipulated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The consideration of the House Committee on Public Account on Audited Account of the Akwa Ibom State Government today is aimed at ensuring prudence in the management of the state’s resources in line with Section 128 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The 6th Assembly is emboldened by the aforementioned law to exercise its powers in a bid to ensure that the financial expenditure of MDAs are made public for assessment”.

“Following a thorough work done by the Public Accounts Committee and the subsequent ratification of the report of the audited account of government for 2016 by this honourable house today, I want to thank His Excellency the governor for the independence which he has availed this house to perform its constitutional responsibilities. The report of the Public Account Committee and the recommendations adopted today indicate how much we have committed ourselves as a house to ensuring accountability.”

The Speaker mentioned that the house had passed into law a fiscal responsibility bill, expressing optimism that Gov. Emmanuel will sign the bill into law to further strengthen transparency and accountability in the state.

He requested the Auditor General to afford the House the opportunity to act more promptly on the 2017 audited report of the state by sending it in early enough.

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