By Milcah Tanimu
Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone, has received counsel from renowned activist Juliet Andason to appoint a substantive Auditor General to enhance accountability and transparency in the country’s governance.
During an interview with our Correspondent in Abuja, Nigeria, Ms. Andason, who is participating in a 3-day Africa Regional Advocacy Summit for NGOs and the Media, emphasized the necessity of this appointment. The summit, organized by the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) with support from the Ford Foundation, included attendees from eight African countries and focused on capacity building and peer learning for accountability in health resource mobilization.
Ms. Andason highlighted the current void in leadership in the Auditor General’s position, explaining, “The former Auditor General was removed for over two years now. She is facing a tribunal and that tribunal has gone up to two years. We don’t know what is happening. They have not called her again to the tribunal and still not reinstated and there is still no substantive Auditor General.”
She further expressed concern that this vacancy is negatively impacting government operations in terms of transparency and accountability. Ms. Andason appealed to the President to promptly appoint an Auditor General who can oversee the proper utilization of government allocations and prevent financial leakages.
The activist underlined the importance of the Auditor General in maintaining budget credibility and social accountability, urging the government to ensure effective management of allocated resources.
While acknowledging the efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) in advocating for the reinstatement or appointment of an Auditor General, Ms. Andason commended AHBN for the summit and stressed the need to prioritize health security.
Dr. Opeyemi Adeosun, the Programme Manager of the Health Sector Reform Foundation (HERFON) in Nigeria, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for African governments to focus on health security due to the recurring nature of disease outbreaks. He called for urgent preparation, proper funding, surveillance, and accountability to safeguard citizens’ health.
Dr. Adeosun recommended dedicating funds specifically to health security, supporting agencies like the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), and ensuring transparent allocation and utilization of resources. He emphasized that health security must be treated as an essential priority to effectively protect populations from emerging disease outbreaks.