Impact of Fiscal Control Institutions on Financial Accountability in Nigerian Public Sector: A Study of Oyo State
The importance of fiscal administration in public sector cannot be overemphasised and this is why it receives constitutional recognition. To avoid abuse, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, provides a series of checks and balances over fiscal administration by sharing financial responsibilities among the Executive, the legislature and the Office of the Auditor-General. This research sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the checks and balances on public finance in Oyo State. The research also set out to recommend measures that will enhance the discharge of financial accountability. In this research, three (3) hypotheses were formulated and tested. The primary data was obtained through the administration of questionnaires, interviews and actual observation. This was supplemented with secondary data. The technique of simple random sampling was used in the questionnaire administration. The population of the study was 398 out of which a sample of 200 was studied. The chi-square (χ2) test statistics was used to test the four hypotheses. The findings of this research indicate that the public budget is not a significant instrument of legislative control over public finance in Oyo State; the reliance of Auditor General on the financial statements prepared by the Executive arm of government does not significantly influence his performance and the quality of legislative financial oversight has a significant effect on the State Auditor-General. The research shows that budgetary non-compliance is quite common. Infringements on financial rules and regulations are also common. The Public Accounts Committee of the State Legislature never met to consider the report of the Auditor General between 2015 and 2017. The implications of these findings are that the legislature is unable to discharge its Constitutional responsibility using the public budget; the weakness of the legislature adversely affects the Auditor-General and poor financial record keeping is not solely attributed to the qualification of those who maintain them. The study recommends a balanced redistribution of financial powers among the Executive, the Legislature and the Auditor-General to promote the discharge of financial accountability in Plateau State.