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. On the sources of data, observations, interviews and questionnaires are to be applied. Also, books, journals, papers presented at conference, magazines, unpublished handouts within the ministry/departments will be explored. The statistical method for data analysis will be the simple chi square methods which the researcher considers simple to use and easy to understand. In conclusion, this research identifies the problems associated with government audit , how to solve or minimize them, how efficiency will be introduced into government accounting/auditing and how the users of government financial Statements will benefit from improved auditing standards and practices.
1.1 Background of the Study
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 anytime 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.
Recently, there have been several changes in the civil service structure and specific organizations operational in Nigeria which brought a lot of problems in the audit of government accounts. Though, the changes were effected with reasonable objectives in view but still it has given rise to problems for the auditors in the audit of public or government which made this research work to focus on the study of the “strategies for the minimization of Audit problems in Nigeria.”