The Chartered Institute of Forensic And Investigative Auditors CIFIA, has commended the Nigeria’s Senate on the successful passage of the CIFIA bill in the country.
The CIFIA President, Dr. Victoria Enape who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital also debunked the rumours making the rounds by the Institute of chartered Accountants of Nigeria ICAN that the establishment of the forensic agency would lead to duplication of duties.
Mrs Snape said that ICAN had recently opposed the CIFIA 2018 Bill which was passed by the Senate, but waiting for concurrence by the House of Representatives.
She however said that she would have ignored the baseless rumours raised by ICAN but for the sake of the public being deceived.
He said the establishment of the forensic institute in Nigeria would help curb financial fraud and expose criminal activities in the country through scientific and technological approach.
“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,” she stated.
“We wish to state that the CIFIA was conceived, principally to address a fundamental challenge in the accounting profession and Contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the proposed CIFIA would bring extra financial burden on the public funds, is not true because CIFIA is self-sustaining,’’ he said.
Enape said it was pertinent to state that after the introduction of the Bill in the Senate Chamber, it was subjected to all the legislative procedural processes by passing through the First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading respectively.
“The reaction of ICAN, clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the lawmaking processes. They are trying to cast aspersion on a sacred institution of the Senate, which is made up of professionals that are well-equipped and have clear understanding accounting,”he said.
According to her, CIFIA is made up of anti-fraud professionals, whose academic background cuts across accounting, Law, criminology, cyber security, banking, Economics, and police detectives.
She said that Forensic auditing integrated investigative skills in order to check mate and expose suspected financial fraud in Nigeria.
Professor Aminu Mikailu, former Vice Chancellor, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and Kaduna State University, wondered why ICAN opposes the forensic bill.
“I don’t not understand what the problem of ICAN is, CIFIA and ICAN are two different bodies which has different objectives and can equally work together towards the goal of corruption in Nigeria,” he stated.
Professor Danfodiyo said that ICAN is just for accounting but forensic auditors deal with auditing forensically digitally which is a global trend.
Responding, A forensic fellow of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Binta Yusuf, said that forensic auditors work was all encompassing and multidisciplinary.
“I believe any professional body that has any issue with the passage of the bill should go and make further research because forensic audit job is a global professional body and there is no rivalry,’’ she said.
An Accountant with the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Lawal Ibrahim said that CIFIA would help to strengthen the nation’s institutions frameworks thereby bringing Nigeria at par with other developed countries in terms of global standards and competitiveness.
The CIFIA Bill was jointly sponsored by Senators Ahmad Lawan, Yobe- north senatorial district and Andy Uba, Anambra senatorial district. The bill went through 1st Reading on the 21st December 2017 then second Reading on 31st January 2018.
He added that the CIFIA bill finally passed 3rd reading on the 5th July, 2018.