UIJRT » United International Journal for Research & Technology

Internal Audit Effectiveness in the Public Health Sector in South-South Nigeria

Inyang, O. Ethel, Enya E. Francis, and Otuagoma O. Florence

Total Views / Downloads: 48 

Cite ➜

Inyang, O.E., Francis, E.E. and Florence, O.O., 2021. Internal Audit Effectiveness in the Public Health Sector in South-South Nigeria. United International Journal for Research & Technology (UIJRT), 2(8), pp.127-132.


The internal audit function is an essential part of an organization, which if functioning effectively should ensure transparency, accountability, and efficient service delivery.   In recent times, the public health sector has become the focus of debate among stakeholders who decry the poor state of health facilities, poor service delivery, misappropriation of funds, misuse/mismanagement of assets, fraud. This has resulted in an increase in private hospital patronage as patients prefer private hospitals to public hospitals. The major objective of this study is to assess those attributes that influence internal audit effectiveness in the Nigerian public health sector. The study employed exploratory and case study research design in examining and understanding the problem. Data for this study was collected using semi structured face-face interviews with the head of department and unit heads of the internal audit department of the sample institutions and review of relevant documents (audit manuals and reports) where available. The results reveal that internal quality (scope of work, independence, communication skill, staffing and staff expertise) and management support (funding, response to audit finding and staff training) are key factors affecting internal audit effectiveness, while audit attributes and organizational setting are relevant but not key factors in determining internal audit effectiveness.  It is therefore recommended that the scope of internal audit work should be broadened to include risk assessment, compliance audit and internal control review to enhance audit quality. Similarly, audit reports should be prepared and communicated more regularly and adequate follow up should be made to ensure their implementation. Management should provide adequate support in terms of employing permanent and qualified staff for the audit department and also provide regular technical training to ensure that the auditors are up to date in terms of skills and expertise to carry out their assignments effectively.

Keywords: Auditee attributes, Internal audit effectiveness, Internal audit quality, Management support.


  1. A Md Ali, JD Gloeck, A Ali, A Ahmi & MH Sahdan. (2007). Internal audit in the state and local governments of Malaysia. Southern African Journal of Accountability and Auditing,7 (2007) pp.25-57
  2. A Md Ali, A Ahmi, A Ali and MZ Ghazali, JD Gloeck & TH Lee. (2013). Internal audit in the federal organizations of Malaysia: is there light at the end of the long dark tunnel?. Southern African Journal of Accountability and Auditing Research,9(2009) pp.23-28
  3. Arena, M., Arnaboldi, M. & Azzone, G. (2009), “Internal Audit in Italian Organizations: A Multiple Case Study”, Managerial Auditing Journal, 21(3) pp. 275-292
  4. Alzeban, Abdulaziz dan David G. 2014. Factors Affecting The Internal Audit Effectiveness: A Survey of The Saudi Public Sector. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation. 23, (2) pp.74-86
  5. Abdul Rahman A.M. Al Twaijry John A. Brierley David R. Gwilliam, (2004), An examination of the relationship between internal and external audit in the Saudi Arabian corporate sector, Managerial Auditing Journal, 19(7), pp. 929-944
  6. Akokuwebe and Adekanmbi, 2017). Internal control system Appraisal, financial Management and control Training Manual, Proceedings of the Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Program Association of National Accountant of Nigeria.
  7. Davidson, P.(1991).The Great Communicators, The Internal Auditor,
  8. (2011) Internal Audit in the Public Sector the Quiet Revolution: A Middle Eastern Point of View
  9. Goodwin, J. (2004), “A comparison of Internal Audit in the Private and Public Sectors.” Managerial Auditing Journal. 19(5) pp. 640-650.
  10. Golen, S.(2008).Communication Barriers between Internal and External Auditors, ABEA Journal 27(1), 35-36.
  11. Institute for Internal Audit (2012), The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, 2004.
  12. Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Public Sector Internal Auditing Standard (PSIAS) Applying the IIA International Standards to the UK Public Sector.
  13. Dovlo, M. (2012). Efective Internal Control System in the Nasarawa State Tertiary Educational Institutions for Efficiency: A Case of Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Business and Industrial Engineering 2015(9), pp. 3902-3907
  14. Enofe, A. O., Mgbame, C. J., Osa-Erhabor, V. E. & Ehiorobo, A. J. (2013). The role of internal audit in effective management in public sector. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting 4 (6), pp. 162-168
  15. Human Rights Watch, 2007; Characteristics of an Internal Audit Activity. Altamonte Springs, FL: The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, 2010.
  16. IFAC, CIPFA (2014), International Framework: Good Governance in the Public Sector.
  17. Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). (1979). Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (IIA, Altamonte Springs).
  18. Porter,B, & Gowthorpe,C.(2004). Audit Expectations Gap in the UK IN 1999 Comparison with the Gap in New Zealand in 1989 and 1999, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Edinburgh
  19. Ubaka, I.E (2016). Audit Expectation Gap and Fraud Detection in Nigeria: The Public Servants’ Perception, The International Journal of Business & Management, 9 (11) pp 3902-3907
  20. Mihret, D.G., & Yismaw, A.W. (2007). Internal Audit Effectiveness: An Ethiopian public sector case study, Managerial Auditing Journal, 22, 470-484.
  21. The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation. International Professional Practices Framework,
  22. Mihret, D.G. &Woldeyohannis, G.Z., (2008.) Value-added role of internal audit:an Ethiopian case study. Managerial Auditing Journal ,23(6), pp. 567-595.

For Conference & Paper Publication​

UIJRT Publication - International Journal