The Public Accounts Committee of the Delta State House of Assembly has commenced the consideration of the Statutory Audit Reports of the 25 Local Governnent Councils in the state for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In his remarks at the flag off of the exercise at the State House of Assembly Complex in Asaba, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Anthony Elekeokwuri, said the Committee had earlier received the audited accounts of the various local government councils in the state from the office of the Auditor-General (Local Government).
Elekeokwuri, who represents Ika north east in the House, stated that the exercise was expected to last one week and would be looking into issues that emanated from the Auditor-General’s Audit report.
He noted that each of the Chairmen of the twenty five local government councils and Officers in Charge of accounts, would appear before the Committee to explain queries raised in the Audit report as well as other observed irregularities.
Flanked by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Solomon Ighrakpata and other members, the Lawmaker noted that the exercise was not a witch-hunt or probe, but to further deepen transparency and accountability in the governance of the state.
Elekeokwuri explained that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, and other relevant financial laws of the state empowered the House Committee on Public Accounts to from time to time look into the financial books of government ministries, departments and agencies.
He restated the commitment of the Committee under his watch to effectively carry out the mandate without fear or favour, saying that public expectations on the members were high.
Elekeokwuri disclosed that at the end of the ongoing exercise, the Committee would generate its report and submit same at plenary of the House for further legislative action.
The Auditor-General, (Local Government), Mr Abel Esievo, said the Delta State House of Assembly was on course as the exercise was one of the recommendations of the World Bank, adding that there was the need to finalize all issues raised in the Audit Reports of 2017, 2018 and 2019 of the various local government councils in the state.
The Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON), Delta State, Sir Itiako Ikpokpo, commended the Public Accounts Committee for the exercise, stressing that the issue of accountability in any system can not be overemphasized.
Other members of the Committee, including Honorables Emeka Nwaobi, Peter Uviejitobor, Felix Anira, Charles Onyiyere and Fred Martins, as well as the Committee’s Clerk Mr Alex Joe, were present at the sitting.