…insists it’s not in conflict with ICAN

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Auditor of Nigeria, CIFIAN says the establishment of forensic and investigative auditing practice legislation in Nigeria will help the country eliminate all opportunities available for financial fraud.

The Protem President of the Institute, Dr. Mrs. Enape Victoria Ayishetu stated this at the weekend during the induction of their new members in Abuja, with the theme: Transition to Forensic and Investigative Audit.

She said the absence of the appropriate legal framework for the regulation of forensic and investigative auditing practice in Nigeria portends great danger to the integrity and safety of the Nigerian financial system.

CIFIAN is an anti-fraud body saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to relevant professionals in the use of science and technology for prevention, detection and investigation of fraud, and also put in place mechanisms to prevent future occurrence and illicit financial flows in the country.

To avoid quack practice in the country, Ayishetu called on the House of Representatives to disregard the antics of their distractors and give possible concurrence to the CIFIAN bill as it was done by the upper legislative House.

‘‘The absence of the appropriate legal framework for the regulation of forensic and investigative auditing practice in Nigeria portends greater danger to the integrity and safety of the Nigerian financial system. The first noticeable consequence of such a lacuna is that Nigeria currently spends hundreds of her scarce foreign exchange to hire forensic experts to investigate corporate fraud as it happened in the wake of the controversial missing $20 billion at the NNPC.

‘‘The establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria will not amount to balkanization of accounting procession in Nigeria in any way, because CIFIAN is not another accounting body in Nigeria like ICAN and ANAN.’’

According to the CIFIAN President, ‘‘CIFIAN is to regulate the practice and Investigative Auditing in Nigeria as it is being practiced in other jurisdictions where similar anti-fraud organizations exist together with accounting bodies. It has not led to balkanization of accounting protection profession there and globally.

‘‘CIFIAN is not under accounting regulating body like International Federation of Accountants and Auditors, IFFAC, but will be regulated by a different body called International Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors, IFFAA.’’

‘‘Forensic and Investigative Audit is about prevention, detection and investigation and fraud using Forensic technology and global best practices, but Accounting bodies is all about compliance and assurance audit and not fraud investigation,’’ adding that forensic and investigative audit work starts where traditional Auditors work stopped. Professional Accountant prepares the book of account, audit the same book prepared by them and also want to be the same people to carry out forensic and fraud investigation of the same book.’’

This he said will always lead to conflict of interest of interest, which has made Nigeria rated among one of the most corrupted nations in the world.

In his remarks, a Protem and board member of the institute, Dr. Lawal Ibrahim while charging the new inductees to abide by the ethics of the practice, said the institute is only striving to projecting human prosperity.

Dr. Lawal, who queried the rationale for ICAN’s objection to CIFIAN Act, faulted its quality and auditing standard, saying that most of the banks audited by ICAN had since collapsed.

Another fellow of the institute from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Mrs. Grace Oloba said there is no stopping of CIFIAN from realising its objectives.

‘‘In this 21st century, we cannot afford to remain analogue when the rest of the world had gone digital. Nigeria is bringing expatriates to come and audit our accounts when we have qualified auditors to do the same job. Inspite of all the monies we are losing, we lose more inviting expatriates. Nigerians are doing better than these expatriates. We cannot continue to look outside without bequeathing lasting legacy for our children.’’

Highlight of the event was the induction of fix new fellows as members of the CIFIAN by the Protem President.

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