'Be mindful of project fatigue': Sanwo-Olu tells Internal Auditors

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L-R: Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Deputy Governor, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Audit, Mr Abayomi Oluyomi at the Opening of the14th Annual Retreat for Internal Auditors held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria-Island, Lagos on Thursday.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has urged Internal Auditors within the State Public Service to be mindful of project fatigue as they discharge their duties

Sanwo-Olu said the auditors should be mindful of process fatigue while assisting the administration to grow the revenue basket towards enhanced project delivery.

He said this through his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the opening of the 14th Annual Retreat of Internal Auditors with the theme, “Redefining Independence, Professionalism and Integrity as an Imperative for Lagos State Governance Structure in Lagos today.

Sanwo-Olu charged the auditors to strive to provide excellent service delivery that will assist the government in achieving the greater Lagos agenda.

He said his administration is making frantic efforts to guarantee their independence, urging them to be truly independent and detach themselves from influences that will compromise their integrity.

While stressing that an effective public sector audit activity strengthens governance by materially increasing citizens’ ability to hold their government accountable, he said, audit activity must be done with integrity to produce reliable services, promote credibility and equity.

The governor described the theme of the retreat as very apt as it touches on the fundamental principles upon which the practice of auditing is built, adding that independence affords auditors the opportunity to carry out their duties without undue interference, pressure or personal bias.

He added that the administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to the independence of Internal Auditors with the recent upgrade of the Internal Audit Department to a full-fledged office and the appointment of a Permanent Secretary.

The Governor stated that his administration places a premium on professionalism in public service delivery and the implementation of government policies particularly those that are directly connected to the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, the Development Plan as well as the Vision and Mission of the state government.

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He noted that government recognizes the fact that all these cannot be attained without adequate investment in capacity building which the administration has continued to prioritize over the years.

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged the auditors to up their skills by taking advantage of the numerous e-learning platforms available for knowledge acquisition and personal development.

He said, “This administration is supporting digital programmes to align with global technology and the smart city goal. Therefore, you cannot afford to be ignorant to current and emerging developments in your profession, so let learning be part of you as we want you to be the best at what you do.”

In his goodwill message, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stated that internal auditors should boldly examine the extent to which public sector operations are managed to achieve consistency and conformity with set standards of performance and quality of operation, especially in its deployment of resources such as funds, human capital, equipment, facilities and period of completion.

He added that his office would ensure that internal auditors are empowered to report significant issues to appropriate authorities in a seamless and timely manner while being open for any support that may be required for effective discharge of the audit function.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Audit, Mr. Abayomi Oluyomi described auditing as the cornerstone of good public sector governance.

He said the state must move towards a higher level of transparency that must demonstrate accountability in the use of public money and efficiency of services, adding that Chief Accounting Officers and Auditors must collaboratively spearhead this by giving and providing value for money, by utilizing funds judiciously, transparently and with accountability.

He said, “Let us join hands together and collectively build a consensus of transformation, through collaboration and togetherness to achieve Lagos State of our dream. We are stronger together.”