Internal audit efficiency and public sector performance in Southwestern Nigeria
The study assessed the determinants of internal audit efficiency in the Nigerian public sector. It also evaluated public sector performance in compliance with established financial control frameworks in the country, and examined the impact of internal audit efficiency on the performance of the Nigeria public sector. This is with a view to providing information on internal audit efficiency determinants with application of audit manual and the level of compliance with the financial control framework in public sector performance measured through budget implementation. The study utilized primary sources of data. Two ministries were selected using purposive sampling technique. The selected ministries are Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and Ministry of Works and Infrastructure in Southwestern Nigeria. The population for the study consisted of 130 respondents in Ekiti State, 155 officers in Ondo State, 140 officers in Osun State and 163 officers in Oyo State totaling 588 respondents. These four states were selected because they have more public sector institutions than private sector organizations and similar internal control system. Proportionate random sampling technique was used to select the respondents from each of the two ministries selected from the four states. Yamane statistical formula was used for distribution of the questionnaire to the respondents. The research was carried out in the internal audit departments, treasury departments, administrative departments and finance departments of the selected ministries because most of the government financial and managerial activities are carried out in these departments. The budgets and relevant statistical bulletin of government activities in the states covering year 2003 to year 2014 was considered. The selection of 2003 as base year was because it marked the beginning of political stability sustaining public sector economic development in Nigeria. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics The results showed that there is negligence on the incidence of irregularities by the appropriate authorities responsible for the implementation of routine audit report (66.2%). The results also revealed that there is flow of audit model and accounting system in the public sector (67.9%). It also revealed that the inadequacy of the internal control system has significant effect on the internal audit function in Nigeria Public Sector (65.0%). The results also showed that internal audit functions are conducted in conformance with the international standards for the professional practice of internal auditing (85.5%). The results also revealed that the ministry internal auditors do not perform their duties with a greater degree of autonomy and independence from the management (75.1%). The results further showed that internal audit report addresses weakness in the ministry controls system (59.0%). The result further revealed that internal audit efficiency has significant effect on the performance of the Nigerian public sector (Z = 13.546). The study concluded that internal audit efficiency have moderately enhanced public sector performance in Southwestern Nigeria.