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As NASS Passes Bill, Audit Defaulters Face 5-Year Prison Term

Account auditing infractions in Nigeria carry five-year prison sentences.

The National Assembly recently passed a bill that imposes a five-year prison sentence on any accounting officer who obstructs the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation from accessing their account books. This development coincides with the passage of that bill.

The House of Representatives had earlier approved the proposed legislation, and the Senate agreed with them.


Ibrahim Gobir, the Senate’s leader, presided over the discussion for the concurrence that the red chamber approved before adjourning to the committee of the whole.

The Bill was approved in the 8th Senate, according to Senator Matthew Urhoghide, chairman of the Senate Public Accounts Committee. It aims to strengthen the Federation’s Auditor General’s office.

According to Section 85 of the Constitution, the Office is tasked with preventing systemic corruption in Nigeria by auditing every government ministry, department, and agency’s expenditure.

The Federation’s Office of the Auditor General is separate from the executive branch of government. He has a close relationship with the National Assembly.
The Federal Audit Commission will be established as the bill’s second component, and it will have the authority to hire the right personnel and administer discipline and promotion.

The Audit House currently employs people who did not study accounting, most likely for political reasons, despite the fact that Audit is a very peculiar department.


The Commission will be in charge of hiring qualified personnel who can audit the financial records of the more than 797 federal agencies.

For the nation to be able to do that, a qualified workforce is required.

The office of the Auditor General for the Federation once employed over 3000 people, but it now only has 1200.
The 8th National Assembly approved the bill, but President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign it. He received bad advice from some executive members about doing it. His actions ran counter to the President’s anti-corruption platform during the presidential campaign. We assumed that he withheld his assent because he had not been properly briefed.

According to the 9th Assembly, passing the Federal Audit Service Bill, which will prevent corruption from occurring, is one of the legacies we must leave behind.

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The role of the Auditor General for the Federation had essentially been replaced by the anti-corruption agencies.

It was unconstitutional to set up the forensic audit for the Niger Delta Development Commission. It is the responsibility of the Federation’s Auditor General.

In 1956, we passed the first audit ordinance. A law that had been in place for more than 60 years has now been changed.

The office of the Federation’s Auditor General now has more authority.

The least punishment we currently propose for an individual is either five years in prison, a fine of $5 million, or both.

or either. We rejected the House of Representatives’ offer of N500,000 or two years in prison. This is so that the punishment can effectively deter future offenses. Therefore, the punishment must be severe.

Corporate agencies that for years refused to have their accounts audited must pay a fine of N20m; the house had suggested N10m, but we objected.

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