Public Accounts Committee and Oversight Function in Nigeria: A Tower Built on Sinking Sand

  •  Kenneth Okpala    


Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly (PAC) is one of the highly empowered committees
established by the standing orders of both houses to examine federal government (FGN) accounts showing the
appropriation of the sums granted to meet the public expenditure and the Auditor's report thereon. This study
was carried out to probe the effectiveness of the Committee’s oversight function on audited reports of FGN to
address the significant financial indiscipline and wastages of national resources in Nigeria public sector. The
population of the study consists of 496 members of National Assembly, 29 Ministries and 5 Commissions. The
sample size is made up of 150 staff selected at random. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit response and
Z-test confirmed the hypothesis. The result reveals that PAC has not effectively exercise her oversight function
due to late submission of audited reports by Auditor General of the Federation, weak regulatory framework and
poor committee members’ qualification and experience. The study recommended that: PAC members’
appointment should be based on professional competence and cognate experience, regulatory framework should
be overhauled and time frame for submission of financial and audited reports and PAC examination should be
strictly in line with the 1999 constitution with punishment awarded for non-compliance.

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