In this interview with some journalists, the Director, Audit Department, of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Alhaji Awwal Musa Abdullahi, believes that the establishment of FCT Revenue Board will help theFCT Administration to harness resources and optimize revenue generation for the benefit of residents of the Territory. He also touches on other sundry issues affecting the workings of the department. Stanley Onyekwere was there. Excerpts:
How does FCT Audit operate?
There are two categories of auditors. The internal auditors’ resident in the Satellite Development Areas (SDAs) and area councils carry out daily activities of the Administration. It is a continuous exercise; because they carry out pre-payment audit, financial records, financial operations and other areas. But as for the FCT Audit,quarterly, we go out for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) audit. We have broken it down to monthly now, following the directive of the Honourable minister of the FCT. Again, by the end of the year, we look at the financial record, with the view tocertify and give our report annually. We also give special report which can come up anytime. Since we have Special Investigation Unit, we can look at any area we deem fit at any time and if we notice any problem; like a Medical Doctor, if we diagnose any malignant or disease, we will go ahead to recommend drugs to be administered and you can be sure that our recommendation will certainly bring cure.
How would you assess the performance of the department under the administration of FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed?
The Administration of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mahammed, the Kauran Bauchi has really changed FCT Audit. The Minister has never stopped supporting us. He has instilled confidence in the staff and we are grateful to him. The Minister has brought FCT to a certain level. As I speak, we have full complement of staff to go round the FCT to carry out all the activities. I want to beg the FCT Management to look at Order 1 of 2004 once again, so that we can properly place FCT on a better path .Because we have been having challenges from external bodies, such as Auditor General Office, EFFC and other relevant bodies that have mandate in FCT.
Since I came to FCT audit from Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) which are covered in the FCT law of 1976,no other Agency in the FCT has a law backing them. Infact, we need FCT Revenue Board to harness our resources and optimisze revenue generation so that we can get all that we suppose to get to enable us render full and optimal services to the residents of FCT. I expect FCT to run around to ensure that the Audit Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives are given certain powers to enact laws and to ensure that provisions are made in a way that they can go in any time without deliberations to bring out laws just like Public Account Committee (PAC).
Sometimes, people called me Mr. Due Process. But I don’t always agree with them. Because I always insist on doing what is in line with extant rules and regulations and also because I always ensure that what the Administration gives to the Department is used for the purpose it is meant for.
How do you strike a balance between your hectic working schedule and relaxation?
Truly speaking, for anybody who has reached certain level in service, it is not easy. You have to keep working,even in your dream and bed. Sometimes, even in vehicle, I keep working, whenever I come from operations, straight away I will commence work.Sometimes, I even carry files home to work on them. So I don’t really have time to relax. And since the Honourable minister is somebody that pushes you to do your best and breathe is always on your throat. Anytime, you think you are finished, another work comes and so with the complexity of FCT, you don’t really have time to rest.