February 6, 2020

Nigeria loses N5.5trn to fraud, cyber crimes in ten years — Forensic Auditors

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Cyber crime

By Chris Ochayi

The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria, CIFIPN, Thursday, disclosed that Nigeria has lost about N5.5 trillion to fraud, corruption and cyber crimes in the last ten years.

Pro-tem President, CIFIPN, Dr, Mrs, Victoria Ayishetu Enape who revealed this while declaring open the training/induction of new members in Abuja, described the situation as worrisome

Dr. Enape regretted that while some cooperate organisations are suddenly collapsing due to fraud, the Government is losing a lot of money every day to fraud, corruption and cyber crimes.

According to her, “Nigeria lost average of about N5.5 trillion to fraud and cyber crimes in 10 years. We raise alarm because Nigerians are suffering in a country rich with natural resources. This is worrisome.”

Speaking at the training/induction with theme; “The role of forensic professionals in the war against fraud, corruption and cyber crimes in Nigeria”, Dr. Enape blamed current surge in kidnappings and other criminal activities in the country to corruption.

She said, “Government is losing a lot of money every day to fraud, corruption and cyber crimes, and that has emptied our treasury which has led into suffering infrastructural development which is the reason for the borrowing of $29 billion by the federal government as we saw published on media few days ago.”

According to her, “As a country, we have countless times been resonated with the perplexing news of fraud corruption and Cyber Crimes; this has remained a bane in the wheel of our collective progress both as a nation and as individuals.

“The worse of it all is that financial institutions are losing money to cyber crimes every day and it keep increasing.

“The sudden collapse of some corporate organisations due to fraud in Nigeria is worrisome, seeing that our youth are suffering for unemployment and a very serious poverty that has now cumulated into kidnapping of the innocent Nigerians and killings which has now become normal news in our country today.

“The issue right now is not whether people are being killed or not but the question people now ask is the number of people that are killed or kidnapped in a day.

“Insecurity problem in Nigeria has travelled far even to the point that American had to declare Nigeria among one of the terrorist Countries in the World. The same issue of insecurity made many top politicians and other prominent Nigerians to relocate their families to aboard.

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“Today, Nigerians cannot move freely in their own country due to the state of insecurity. Kaduna Road has ended being a death trap all these years, and the road has been abandoned by many as everybody now travel by train. Right now Abuja –Lokoja road, Okene –Edo road has been added to the numbers of the den of kidnappers, and many more.

“Killings and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians has become daily news on media, and Nigeria government seem to be helpless in the regard.

“Fraud, Corruption and Cyber Crimes has assumed the strategic position in Nigeria with little or no challenge. We need not mention here that government agencies and multinational corporations spend huge sums out of our scare foreign exchange to retain expatriates forensic and investigative professionals to unravel complex cases of fraud and cyber crimes in Nigeria including the federal government. “

Dr. Enape stressed further that, “Forensic remain one of the last hope of Nigerians if only Nigeria Government can ignore the sentiment and self interest seeking group of persons who would want Nigeria to continue to live in the past just because they have some skeleton in their cupboards.

“And would prefer using their positions and every available means to do unthinkable and keep the country that belongs to all of us in a perpetual bondage and mortgage the future of our young generation.

“That is why; they would insist that the field of forensic which is an emerging trend in the whole world must be regulated by them even when their Act does not empower them to do so.

“Forensic is very broad, and cannot be limited to the Accounting field as some are thinking. As it stands now nobody has been empowered to practice forensic in Nigeria yet, irrespective of the false claims, until Forensic Bill before Mr President is assented to.

“Therefore, we advise that people should forget about some parochial minded people who are claiming that they can do forensic now in the country deceiving themselves and Nigerians, just because of greed. That is like putting a new wine in an old bottle, and you know that the result with be contamination. A word is enough for a wise. “

She warned that, “This must not continue in a country like ours which is so blessed with enormous human resources, young brains and capabilities. Even comparatively smaller countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe have adopted the use of forensic Investigation in their countries long ago.

“No country can experience economic growth with poor or no fraud preventive measures in place, and that the core mandate of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.

“The emergence of forensic and investigative Profession on the global scene was based on the realization that fraudsters had gone sophisticated and in some instances taken advantage of the 21st century digital revolution to perpetrate fraud that was hitherto undetectable by normal investigation.

“Major accounting and auditing scandals which lead to the collapse of corporate giants in the United States and parts of Europe compelled many corporate organizations in Europe to introduce forensic and investigative profession as the best approach to the new face of combating fraud and Cyber Crimes. A case study of Author Anderson and Enron.“