The Chief of Staff (COS) to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde has said that the professional conduct and due diligence of State Auditors have been crucial in guiding the State government on the path of financial prudence, accountability, transparency and value for money in tandem with global best practices.
Speaking on Friday at a two-day retreat organised for State Auditors at Golf View Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos with the theme “Agility and Resilience: Audit Perspective”, Ayinde said the retreat demonstrates the commitment of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration to regularly expose members of staff to current knowledge, ideas and innovation that can be applied to achieve better outcomes for the State and its citizens.
The Chief of Staff charged participants to take full advantage of the retreat to refresh and update their knowledge on current developments in their profession, in order to improve service delivery and collaborate with the Government on building a Greater Lagos.
In the same vein, Mr. Yomi Oluyomi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Audit matters, described a resilient Auditor as an officer who has the ability to detect the root cause of financial problems, minimise embedded risks, while managing his personal emotions.
Oluyomi, while highlighting the complexities the COVID -19 pandemic has impacted on governance, stated that effective and data-driven scenario planning, strong leadership, implementation of remote work solutions and teamwork would aid effective management of after effects of the pandemic and other related emergencies.
The Special Adviser urged participants to imbibe the virtues of competence, courage and commitment in the discharge of their duties, admonishing them never to forget their core mandate, which is to promote and protect public funds.
He noted that, “The most important message today is that of agility and resilience. As Auditors, we must not only be adaptable but also responsive enough to be able to pilot our business models continuously. I must, therefore, implore you to imbibe the four Cs of character – Competence, Courage and Commitment, while you strive to eliminate the last C – Captured in order not to become tools in the hands of private interests you are meant to oversee”.
Earlier, the State Auditor-General, Mrs. Helen Deile, said the retreat was organised to ensure capacity development, specifically required to anticipate, surmount and mitigate effects of emergencies such as the COVID-19 and recent #EndSARS protest.
She said “The theme of the 11th edition of the Auditor’s Retreat which is “Agility and Resilience: Audit Perspective” implies that auditors must be more committed to an effective and efficient system of crisis management in a timely manner in order to surmount and mitigate the effects of emergencies such as the COVID-19 and the recent #EndSARS protest”.
Deile added that the crises experienced this year underscored the need for auditors to ensure that emergency response, disaster recovery and crisis communication should be integrated and aligned into plans and projections.
She averred that the effect of COVID-19 has reduced the resources of government and posed a great threat to finances and revenue, which confers on Auditors great responsibility to be more prudent with uncommon Agility and Resilience.
The Auditor-General emphasised the need to align audit resilience plans to the T.H.E.M.E.S strategic development agenda, saying “In our resilience plans going forward, the concurrence of our respective stakeholders is very crucial, so as to effectively link our audit resilience plans to the strategic priorities of the government in a way that professional auditing demands”.