BY FESTUS OKOROMADU
President Bola Tinubu on Friday approved the appointment of Shaakaa Chira as the substantive Auditor-General for the Federation.
The appointment followed the recommendation of the Federal Civil Service Commission.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Ajuri Ngelale, said the President relied on the powers vested in him by Section 86 of the 1999 Constitution (Amended).
The statement reads in part: “President Bola Tinubu has approved Mr. Chira’s appointment after the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) conducted a screening exercise that identified Mr. Chira as the most qualified candidate who had also scored the highest in the examination amongst all qualified candidates for the office.”
It said the President expects the new Auditor-General to justify the confidence reposed in him and to live up to the high expectations that Nigerians have concerning the execution of the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration.
The position of Auditor-General for the Federation became vacant on September 7, 2022 after the retirement of the then substantive AuGF, Aghughu Adolphus.
The issue of the appointment of a substantive Auditor-General for the Federation has been a subject of controversy leading to many petitions by stakeholders who called on the President to quickly appoint a substantive Auditor-General.
Recently both the House of Representatives and Senate committees on public accounts raised the alarm that their work is being stalled by the inability of the acting auditor-general for the federation to sign audit reports of MDAs because he lacked the constitutional empowerment to do so.
For that, the reports of the AuGF, which form the bulk of the job of the committees, have not been filed for three consecutive years: 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Also on Friday, President Tinubu received in audience the Special Envoy of the President of South Korea, Won Hee-Ryong, to discuss the areas in which a further expansion of investment and trade ties across key sectors of Nigeria’s economy can expeditiously occur.
The meeting at the Presidential Villa was a follow-up to productive discussions between President Tinubu and South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol during the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, India.
President Tinubu commended the efforts that have been made in implementing the commitments made during his discussions with President Yoon in India, noting that these commitments are aimed at strengthening the economic and technological partnership frameworks between the two nations.
“I am encouraged that your President acknowledged these requests and emphasised the importance of Nigeria in the African context by sending you as a Special Envoy. Rest assured, we are committed to providing the necessary support to bolster the bilateral relationship that has flourished over the years,” the President said.
With an eye on an increased South Korean presence in the transformation of Nigeria’s national, multi-modal transportation system, President Tinubu also emphasised the need for greater South Korean investment in the establishment of local industries for youth employment and technology transfer as Nigeria seeks to understudy and replicate South Korea’s national transportation system.
He said this project is an important opportunity for fruitful collaboration and the evolution of a pragmatic and dynamic business partnership. “Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with an energetic and vibrant youthful population that is eager to make things happen. We must empower them. We are committed to removing any obstacle that may hinder the flow of investments between our two great countries,” the President affirmed.
The Special Envoy delivered President Yoon’s letter to President Tinubu, outlining the South Korean President’s instructions to South Korea’s ministries to diligently implement the important projects discussed during their meeting on the margins of the G-20 Summit, including the conclusion of the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework, TIPF between both countries.
He also conveyed an invitation to President Tinubu to attend the Africa-Korea Summit scheduled for June 4–5, 2024, in Seoul, while seeking Nigeria’s support for South Korea’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Busan, South Korea.