- A recent bill signed by the Nigerian Senate has caused controversy in the polity
- The Forensic auditors' bill was recently criticized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
- Promoters of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIA), have however, taken a swipe at ICAN for their stance
A recent bill signed by the Nigerian Senate - Forensic auditors' bill, is causing controversy in the polity.
The bill was jointly sponsored by the Senate majority leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe and Senator Andy Uba from Anambra.
Both senators are of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
The Forensic auditors' bill was recently criticized by the ICAN, prompting promoters of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIA) to take a swipe at the accounting body for their stance.
ICAN had during a press briefing on Friday, July 13 agitated that establishing CIFIA as an institute through an Act would amount to duplication of duties, saying the institute is already carrying out the functions meant for Accountants.
Protem President of CIFIA, Mrs Victoria Enape, in a response to ICAN's criticisms, described the move as unfortunate development, arguing that the publications of the press briefings ICAN boss granted was to malign reputations of some persons and discredit the institute.
She said the claims were baseless, wondering why Nigeria is still relying heavily on expatriate forensic and investigative auditors if the claims were true.
Enape explained that the bill is aimed at addressing shortcomings in the war against corruption.
She added 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 that, “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 further explained that CIFIA would save Nigerian government the cost of inviting foreign forensic auditors for fraud investigation as it were.
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A month ago, Enape debunked media reports suggesting the CIFIA bill is a security threat in Nigeria's financial sector.
She made the clarification after an online medium (not Legit.ng) highlighted her role in promoting the bill.
She described the publication as “a hatchet job orchestrated by some disgruntled persons who would rather continue to take advantage of the dearth of forensic and investigative experts in Nigeria to perpetrate financial fraud.”
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