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Strategies for the Minimization of Audit Problems in Public Sector in Nigeria

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Strategies for the Minimization of Audit Problems in Public Sector in Nigeria.


Accounting system including the system of auditing in the public sector of the Federation was patterned to the system obtainable from the British system due to colonial influence before Nigeria’s independence in October 1960. As a result of this, there is no significant difference between the civil service operational systems in Nigeria from the system run by the British Government. In view of the above historical evolution, ministries and parastatals were established by government at both federal and state levels.

Federal and state audit department were also established to ensure that public fund committed to these ministries/parastatals are judiciously accounted for and the department is headed by Auditor General. In recent times, regardless of the reasonable objectives, reasonable changes in the civil service structure and operations in the country have given rise to such problems for auditors in the public or government account. It is these problems that gave rise to the research on the strategies for the abatement of audit problems in the public sector in Nigeria.

The research will introduce questions that will provide questions that will provide solutions to these problems, how these problems have been affecting the performance of the ministries/department and how these problems have been obstructing the auditors from expressing valid opinion on the accounts audited. In the objective of the study, there’s an expression of audit lapses that are obtainable in government accounts and also to address such problems that may arise from the statement of the problems. 


Having observed that Auditors in Nigeria have a lot of problems in the audit of government accounts, this research work will identify these audit problems which are inherent in the public sector of the economy and ways of minimizing them. The accounting system including the system of auditing in public sectors and specific organizations of the federation of Nigeria is an increasingly demanded part of accounting profession initially developed in the United Kingdom (Britain) and United States over hundred years ago (Rowan: September 1, 2010).

In view of the historical background that Britain was Nigeria’s colonial master prior to her independence on 1st October, 1960 (Atlan:1980) there is no significant difference between the system operational in Nigeria today from the system emulated from the British Government. Therefore, various Ministries and Parastatals were established by Nigerian Government at both the Federal and State level while in each Ministries/Parastatals, accounts units were created which handles all accounting problems and systems of the Ministries/Parastatals.

In order to ensure that the public funds committed to these ministries/parastatals are judiciously accounted for; the Federal/State Audit Department was established. This department is headed by the Auditor General of the Federation or State. The Audit Act of 1956 directs the Auditor General to prepare and transmit a special report to the National Assembly where it appears to him at any time to be desirable and to make enquiries into any issue, programme, project, activity, function or transaction concerning fraud or misappropriation of public funds and property. 


Atlan, B. (1980), History of Nigeria. 3rd edition: page 52

Aguolu ,O. (2008), Fundamentals of Auditing. 3rd Edition, Institute for
Development studies, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus

Ajayi, C A. (1989), Financial Control in the Public Sector: Proceedings of
the 1989 Annual Conference; Ogundele Edition: pages 1-12

Beasly .M. S, Carcello J V and Hermanson D R, (2001). Common problems
(Top 10 Audit Deficiencies). Journal of Accountancy

Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 1990: page 136

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1979)

Eze, J .C ,(2005), Principles and Techniques of Auditing, 1st edition

Financial Instructions of Federal Republic of Nigeria (F.I), Vol 1 and 11,
Decree 48

Implementation Guideline on Civil Service Reforms of 1988, Decree 43,
Government Press Enugu

Mawefe, C .A .O, (1995), Principles of data processing and management
information system, Fourth Dimensions Publishers Enugu, 1st edition.

CSN Team.

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