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Nigeria needs forensic auditors to win anti-corruption war – CIFIA

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria, CIFIA on Wednesday dismissed the claim by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN that it is already carrying out the functions of the proposed CIFIA, saying that the body would partner with relevant government agencies to prevent, detect and expose financial fraud being concealed by the accountants.

The President of the Institute, Victoria Enape gave the clarification at a press conference organized by CIFIA in Abuja.

Enape said the position of ICAN against the recently passed CIFIA Bill by the Senate was unfortunate as the Bill was not seeking to duplicate ICAN’s duties but aimed at creating a new body that would complement it in unraveling concealed financial malfeasance being perpetrated by accountants and also assist the ant-graft agencies of government to tame illicit fanatical outflow in line with world best practice.

‘‘Our attention was drawn to the press briefing by ICAN on the passage of the CIFIA BILL by the Senate. WE are inclined to offer clarification so that the whole world would discern between the truth and a deliberate effort to thwart a noble course that is beyond an individual or personal and parochial interests,

‘‘There is no conflict whatsoever between the functions of the proposed CIFIA and those of ICAN established under the ICAN Act of 1965. ICAN’s claim of already carrying out the functions of the proposed CIFIA is baseless because if that is true, then one may be compelled to ask why Nigeria still relies heavily on expatriate forensic and investigative auditors.

‘‘ICAN has acquired the reputation of opposing every professional body in Nigeria that has to do with financial management in Nigeria,’’ she added.

She went further to say that for ICAN to be issuing Forensic Accounting Certificate amounts to illegality because there is no Forensic in ICAN Act, which she said is verifiable.

Recall that ICAN had on Friday 13th July, 2018 called a press conference to express its objection to the proposed CIFIA Bill by the Senate during which it faulted the initiative and described it as a duplication of its functions.

The CIFIA President explained that the Forensic and Investigative Audit represent a global paradigm shift from traditional auditing practice to a skillful deployment of science and technological tools to prevent, detect, or resolve financial fraud, expose financial fraud concealed in financial accounts.

According to her, membership of the association cuts across accounting, law, criminology, cyber security, banking, economics, and police detectives.

‘‘The emergence of forensic and inventive 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 that which was undetectable by traditional auditing.

‘‘Corporate organizations in Europe introduced forensic and investigative auditing as the best approach to the new face of financial fraud.’’

Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria is anti-fraud organization saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology for prevention, detection and investigation of fraud and put in place some sophisticated mechanisms to prevent future occurrence.

The Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria, CIFIA bill was recently passed by the Nigerian Senate. It was aimed at addressing the shortcomings in the war against fraud and corruption in Nigeria.

The Bill was jointly sponsored by Sen. Ahmad Lawal and Andy Ubah and went through first reading on the 21st December, 2017, second reading on the 31st January, 2018 and had public hearing on the 14th March, 2018 before it finally passed 3rd reading on 5th July, 2018.

CIFIA however, applauded the Senate for the successful passage of the Bill for an Act to establish the Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigation Auditors of Nigeria, for the registration and regulation of membership of its members and called on the President to assent the Bill into law without further delay.


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