Uche Usim, Abuja
The Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr Anthony Ayine has retired after 35 years in the civil service.
The most senior Director, Mr. Adolphus Aghughu will administer the Office of the AuGF until a substantive person is appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In celebration of his years of fruitful service, the management and staff of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation recently hosted him to a befitting farewell ceremony.
Highpoints of the event included the presentation of a handcrafted “Congratulations” card by the management; Letter of Honour of Service and certificate “Award of Standardisation and Staff Capacity Development” by the congress and members of the Joint Negotiation Council in the OAuGF; the cutting of the retirement cake; as well as speeches and recollections from members of staff.
Responding, an elated Ayine appreciated the gesture and encouraged that the office continues to improve on the achievements recorded during his tenure.
He was appointed AuGF on January 12, 2017, by President Muhammadu Buhari after he emerged as best candidate from the series of tests set by the Nigeria Civil Service.
On assumption of office, Ayine made his intentions about reforming the Office very clear and spared no effort in partnering with relevant stakeholders to catapult the OAuGF towards success.
Improving and modernizing working tools and audit methodologies was at the very heart of Mr Ayine’s reform projects and programmes with the aim of helping the OAuGF deliver on its mandate in line with international best practices. Under his watch, the OAuGF rolled out its second Five-year Strategic Development Plan which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in Sept 2017.
As part of the ongoing implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) across the Federal Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs), and as part of reforms to also bring Audit Reports up to international standards, Mr. Ayine conducted several whole-of-office training events for Senior Management and staff on IPSAS and the International Standards of Audit (ISAs).
The Office under his leadership, prepared a comprehensive Regularity Audit Guide, Code of Ethics and Conduct, Quality Control & Assurance Manual, IT Audit Manual and a Financial Audit Manual (FAM) and a Compliance Audit Manual (CAM) based on International best practices, and carried out extensive training of all staff in the application of these manuals using a train-the-trainer approach.
The outgoing AuGF also carried a number of specialized audits (Performance & IT Audits), amongst them are: Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS); Government Integrated Financial Management and Information Systems (GIFMIS); and the Nigerian Immigration Service e-passport system.
Others are the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) – Drivers License Scheme (NDLS), the National Vehicle Identification System (NVIS), the Treasury Single Account (TSA); the management of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the effectiveness of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Another major achievement of the OAuGF under Mr. Ayine is Collaborations with International Bodies: – the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions –English Sppeaking (AFROSAI-E), UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) and Department for International Development (DFID), GIZ, World Bank, etc.
Efforts were also made towards an Audit Act that will empower the OAuGF to effectively carry out its mandate of ensuring government’s accountability to citizens, and the process is ongoing. In addition, the staff strength of the office grew between 2017- 2020 with at least 257 new employees which represents 24.22% of the Office’s employment.