By Emma Ujah
Abuja—Forensic and investigative auditors hold the key to checking the pervasive corruption and fraud in the country, the President of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIA), Mrs. Victoria Enape, has said.
She told journalists in a chat in Abuja that corrupt people and fraudsters had taken their activities beyond the level that ordinary auditors could stop.
According to her, “It goes without saying that if Nigeria must make progress in our collective fight against financial fraud, we must develop and increase the standard of advanced auditing system that engender integrity, objectivity and trust in Accounting and Financial Reporting Process, to inspire public confidence in the Nigerian Financial and Economic system.
“It was in realization of the importance of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in fraud prevention, detection and the desire of Nigerian government to eradicate corruption and fight economic and financial crimes that the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIA) emerged in Nigeria.
“This will ultimately further the issue of fraud prevention and fight against corruption of the Federal Government.”
A Bill to give legal backing to the institute is currently before the National Assembly.
The bill if passed, the president said, would provide the nation with skilled professionals to deepen fraud prevention, detection and preserve money in government treasury for infrastructural development.
Mrs. Enape said, “Forensic and Investigative auditors “represent a global paradigm shift from traditional auditing practice to skilful deployment of science and technological tools to prevent, detect, or resolve financial fraud or expose possible criminal activity concealed in financial accounts.
“This is a profound genre of anti-fraud professionals, whose academic background cuts across accounting, law, criminology, cyber security, banking, police detectives. Forensic auditing integrates investigative skills in order to resolve or expose concealed or suspected financial fraud.
“The emergence of forensic and investigative auditing on the global scene was based on the realization that fraudsters had gone sophisticated and in some instances taken advantage of the 21st digital revolution to perpetrate fraud that was undetectable by conventional and statutory auditing.”
No rival to ICAN, ANAN
The CIFIA boss clarified that the organization would be in rivalry with other accounting bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the National Association Accounts of Nigeria (ANAN).
No cost to government
Mrs. Enape said that the institute would be self –financed and would not require public funding.
Her words, “It is going to be a win-win situation from which ever perspective it is viewed, but especially when looked at from the context of judicious application and utilization of scarce resources and a nation like ours that does not enjoy immunity from global recession that is also affecting other nations of the world with more technological advancement .
“The implication of this emphasis is that, the Institute is a private –driven Organization responsible for its funding at no cost to government.”