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Friday, August 03, 2018

Forensic Auditors Bill: CIFIA berates ICAN, alleges conduct not in national interest - ITREALMS

THE Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIA), has berated the Institute Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) for casting aspersions on the passages of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (FIAN) bill, alleging that ICAN conduct negates national interest, reports ITRealms.

Reacting to ICAN criticisms, Protem President of CIFIA, Mrs Victoria Enape, described the move as unfortunate development, arguing that the publications of the press briefings granted by ICAN boss was to malign reputations of some persons and discredit the institute.

ITRealms recalls that the FIAN Bill was jointly sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe North and Senator Andy Uba from Anambra State.

ICAN, ITRealms reports, had during a press briefing on July 13 agitated that establishing CIFIA as an institute through an Act would amount to duplication of duties, positing the institute is already carrying out the functions meant for Accountants.

In a rejoinder made available to ITRealms in Abuja, Enape said the claims were baseless, wondering why Nigeria is still relying heavily on expatriate forensic and investigative auditors if the claims were true.

She explained that the bill is aimed at addressing shortcomings in the war against corruption with regards to forensic auditors’ examinations, stressing that the whole world had gone digital and now fraudsters engage digital technologies in perpetrating fraud which has made traditional auditing inadequate.

"Our attention was drawn to the press briefing, which was carried out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Friday 13th July, 2018 on the passage of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria Bill by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on 5th July, 2018.

"Ordinarily, we would have ignored the baseless issues raised in the press briefings but for the sake of the public who are being misled by this unfortunate development and posterity, we are inclined to offer some clarifications so that the whole world would discern between the truth and a deliberate effort to thwart the noble course that is beyond an individual or personal and parochial interests," she said.

She stated categorically that ICAN issuing forensic accounting certificate amounts to illegality because there is no forensic in the Act establishing ICAN Act.

Enape further stressed that the insinuation in some quarters that the proposed CIFIA would bring some financial burden on the public funds is untrue because the institute is self-sustaining.

She noted, “ICAN is the oldest professional body in Nigeria, so it is expected that it should be behaving like a spoilt brat that is opposed to any idea of new child by his parents.

"ICAN has acquired the reputation of opposing every professional body in Nigeria that has to do with financial management in Nigeria. ICAN opposed the creation of ANAN, CLTN, and several others, losing all legal battles.

"So, we must discountenance the antics of ICAN and support the bill, because of its noble objectives and potential impact.”

She explained that CIFIA would save Nigerian government the cost of inviting foreign forensic auditors for fraud investigation as it were.

CIFIA boss said to some large extent it takes only Nigerian forensic auditors who know the terrain to be able to track or investigate fraud successfully in Nigeria, saying that it is therefore important to patronise made in Nigeria to grow Nigeria.

“One major advantage that this body would bring to our anti-corruption fight and crusade is that, it will not only partner with relevant government agencies, but will also help to train their agents and staff through to certification on the use of science and technology of forensic and investigative audit skills for auditing of financial statement and put in place some advanced mechanisms to prevent frauds in their various organisations to avoid reacting to fraud issues after such had taken place which has not yield results in our country over the years," said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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