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The increasing rate of financial irregularities, fraud, and mismanagement rocking Nigerian Tertiary Institutions calls for concern. Despite all control measures put in place by the government, coordinating and regulating agencies, and the institutions themselves, lack of transparency and accountability continues unabated. Literature and documentary evidence have shown that lack of functional internal audit department is one of the factors responsible for the frequent occurrence of these acts. The objective of this study, therefore, is to examine conceptually management support and communication skills as the key factors affecting internal audit task performance in the Nigerian tertiary institutions. Based on the existing literature and the pronouncement of accounting and auditing professional bodies, the study develops a framework of these factors as influencing task performance. The study suggests that adequate management support and effective communication skills of internal auditors will enhance the task performance of internal audit department, hence, curbing the incidence of financial malpractices. The study has policy implications as it will assist the proprietors (government and private individuals), coordinating ministries, regulatory authorities, professional bodies, councils and management of tertiary institutions, and auditors in their decision making and oversight functions.

Keywords: Internal audit, higher education institutions, task performance, management support, communication skills.

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