Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello, has urged various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government at all levels across the country to publish their financial reports for the purpose of transparency and accountability.
Bello made the call at the opening ceremony of the 14th National Conference And Seminar Of Association Of Public Service Auditors Of Nigeria, held in Lokoja last week Wednesday and Thursday, with the theme: “The Making of An Effective and Efficient Auditor for A Transparent And Accountable Public Sector”.
Bello, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Hon Asiwaju Idris Asiru, said that the reports would also be very useful to academics and researchers including policy makers.
According to the governor, interested parties such as researchers, academics and policy makers will benefit a lot if the accountant General of the federation can make audited financial statements of various MDAs available on yearly basis.
The governor noted that his administration had been producing annual audited financial statements of Kogi State since he assumed office, while urging others to follow suit. He charged the Hon Minister of Finance,Budget and National Planning as well as the Accountant General of the Federation to mandate yearly preparation of audited financial statements of Nigeria.
He stressed that such practice would ensure transparency and accountability in the utilization of public fund.
Reacting to the recent NBS corruption rating in Nigeria which put Kogi as the most corrupt State, the governor said the NBS report was short of fact and does not reflect the true position of the state.
The governor recalled that Kogi State was rated by the World Bank as one of the most transparent states in the utilization of donor funds in the year 2019.
He explained further that the state had also received a commendation letter from the Accountant General of the Federation for effective implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) Accrual Based Accounting.
He added that the ICAN Accountability Index report in 2019 had also rated Kogi State high; 2nd in in North Central, 6th in the 19 Northern States and 12th among the 36 States of the federation including the FCT.
”The Nigerian Governors’ Forum’s (NGF) Sustainability report also rated the State as one of the best in the country.
”So, what did NBS relied on in arriving at the dubious and fallacious report?
”Audited financial statement of Kogi State for the year 2018 including budget performance has been made public and were also published online.
”We, therefore, say that the report of the Nigerian Bureau Of Statistics on corruption index was erroneously computed and I call for review of the so- called misleading report,” he said.