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Governor Okowa probes Paris Club refund spending

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has directed the Auditor-General of the state to constitute a panel to audit the usage of the state’s share of the Paris Club refund.

Okowa gave the directive in Asaba while declaring open a two-day Annual Audit Forum for Stakeholders organised by the state in conjunction with the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) project.

The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Chief David Edevbie, said the audit was necessary to ensure accountability and transparency.

He described the theme of the workshop, “Emerging Trends in Transparent and Accountable Conduct of Government Business: The Imperative of Accurate Book Keeping,’’ as timely.

He urged auditors in the state to examine the challenges of public financial management, particularly as it related to their roles.

Okowa charged them to remain committed to the tenets of their profession and be “goalkeepers” who must not be persuaded or induced to indulge in inexplicable practices.

“Owing to the national economic recession, government at all levels is facing a severe financial challenge which calls for discipline, efficient planning and prudent management of public finances.

“This workshop will help in providing realistic solution for proper book keeping and financial management especially in the public sector.

“There is no doubt that the financial management system in the country is weak because of the existence of certain enchants which create a variety of loopholes for inappropriate practices.

“As a state, we see public sector financial management as an essential part of good governance which has helped in the elimination of wastage as well as blocking of leakages.

“We have also ensured that public expenditure is kept within revenue limit, placing emphasis on judicious spending as well as reducing costs,” Okowa said.

Earlier, the auditor-general, Mr Chukwudi Amudo, commended the governor for his support for the growth of the audit institution in the state.

Amudo said that the workshop, the second in the series, was aimed at building upon the maiden one.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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