A leading Pro Democracy Group in Kwara State, Kwara Must Change has aknowledged the Kwara State Government’s effort in improving government accountability through transparency and open governance.
The group particularly commended the state audit office for its citizens accountability report, which gives details of income, expenditure, progress, infraction aswell as areas without findings, such as assets, aids and grants, investment etc.
In a statement by Convener of Kwara Must Change, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the group noted the impressive increase in capital expenditure in the year 2020 from 59% to 71% and reduction of recurrent expenditure from 41% to 29%, which indicated government’s priority in capital projects, particularly those nominated by citizens during the pre budgetary citizens engagement.
Kwara Must Change also explained that, it takes special notice of the observed infractions against financial regulations in the report, adding that the group would take up the matter with appropriate government offices.
According to Hamzat, “infractions against financial regulations by government institutions as noted in the citizens accountability report should not be allowed to become a norm in the state because our priority is to get Kwara to become the most transparent state in the country, away from its current 3rd position and the group would be engaging government on these issues in coming weeks.
While it aknowledged the clarification of the auditor general, Mr Adeyeye Omoniyi Samuel that most of the observed infractions have been rectified, those information are not contained in the citizens accountability report it published and public can only react to the report as it is.
Hamzat maintained that, Kwara Must Change’s focus is to encourage and strengthen existing institutions to carry out their institutional mandate inline with their establishment act and collaborate with them to build self correctional methods, should we observe any deficiency in their operations.
Kwara Must Change also seek clarifications from the state audit office over items such as assets, performance guarantee, investment, aids and grants etc which it describes as , “no findings”.
“Kwara Must Change would like the state audit office to explain what it meant by “no findings” as contained in those items on the report, asking if the “no findings” coinage means unavailable information or lack of any observation in the administration of its processes”.
Kwara Must Change concluded by requesting that the state audit office expand its methodology and accountability surveillance beyond the Ministries alone, but to include agencies under them, through direct engagement.
It added that, state audit office should engage agencies under the Ministries directly to ensure they are not only strengthened, but also functioning independently in line with their establishment act, carrying out their implementation processes optimally and administring their budgets inline with the laid down proceedures.