President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Auditor-General of the Federation to ensure that all outstanding audit queries are conclusively resolved within 30 days.
On Sunday, the President also ordered that henceforth, all audit queries must be answered within 24 hours.
The orders followed the President’s displeasure on hearing that audit queries remained unanswered for long periods, sometimes running into years, under previous administrations.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed the directives. He reassured Nigerians that President Buhari was irrevocably committed to tackling administrative and bureaucratic corruption head-on.
“The era of impunity is gone. The President is taking the war on corruption to the civil service. He is not happy that standard operating procedures and financial regulations are no longer being observed as they should.
“President Buhari would ensure that public officials and civil servants in the service of the Federal Government pay a heavy price from now on for violating financial regulations or disregarding audit queries,” Garba said.
He added that the President was determined to put an end to the present situation in which, rather than respond to legitimate audit queries, violators of financial regulations in the Federal Government resort to threatening, bribing or mounting other forms of social pressure on auditors.
“On his watch, President Buhari wants to see firm action against those who violate extant financial regulations, not the prevarications and shenanigans that went on in the past in the form of endless probes and public inquiries,” the Presidential spokesman said.