The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, signed the Edo State Audit Bill 2021 into law to ensure accountability and transparency in governance.
Obaseki, while signing the bill at the Government House in Benin City, thanked the State House of Assembly for expeditiously passing the amendment bill into law.
The governor noted that the bill will allow for the establishment of the Edo State Audit Service Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General for the State and Local Government, to ensure accountability and transparency in the handling of public resources.
According to him, “In a renewed effort to strengthen our public accounting and financial system, we have had to undertake measures to ensure high standards of accountability and transparency in the use of public resources.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum is working very closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the World Bank to source over 1.5 billion US dollars to strengthen the public accounting system in the states.
“I am the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Committee liaising with the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance on accessing this facility.”
Obaseki continued: “For us in Edo State, we stand in a vantage position to provide leadership in this regard. It’s important that we show example in the quest to provide direction for this effort.
“The purpose of the law is to create independence for the Office of the Auditor-General, so that they can undertake their statutory function over the seal books of the state and the local government, without hindrance.
“So, the Audit Service Commission, when established, will be made up of reputable and credible persons who will ensure the right thing is done,” he added.
The governor commended the House of Assembly for a job well done, assuring that the government will put in place machinery to ensure that the law is followed strictly.
Earlier, the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Hon. Marcus Onobun said, “We have passed the bill to repeal the Edo State Audit Law 2019 and enact the Edo State Audit Law 2021, which provides for the establishment of the Audit Service Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General of Edo State and Local Governments and other connected purposes.”