Use forensic audit to fish out terrorist financiers, ICAN tells Buhari – The Sun Nigeria
By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to roll out forensic audits to verify the illegal activities of terrorist financiers in the country.
The body has therefore offered to make available to the country its technical expertise in forensic auditing and working with security agencies to expose the financiers of terrorism and illegal business in the country.
ICAN Chair Comfort Eyitayo told the President this Friday at the Presidential Villa, as she led a delegation of accountants to the State House.
According to her, ICAN has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Police Academy on Forensic Investigation and Audit to help the government stimulate a prosperous economy.
Eyitayo, who pledged that the body will continue to support the nation-building efforts of President Buhari and his administration, especially in raising awareness on monetary and fiscal policies, commended the administration for adhering to the best accounting principles and practices to secure and relaunch the economy, in particular return to the budgetary calendar from January to December.
The accountancy body also criticized the government’s decision through the head of the Federation Civil Service to drop professional certificates as a qualification for the country’s entry level civil service, describing it as shocking.
Eyitayo said the institute has established seven faculties to train accountants in specialized fields including forensic accounting, adding, “It should be noted that the institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Police Academy on forensic investigation and audit”.
She added that working with security teams could be used to reduce the security challenges facing the country by tracking all funds used to commit crimes and payments.
She said, “We are concerned about the nefarious activities of some nefarious elements of society who engage in despicable acts of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, ritual killings, among others.
“The fight against terrorism is a great challenge across the world and we welcome efforts to stem this tide in our country.
“As Chattered Accountants, we recognize our role in the fight against terrorism by applying the principles of forensic accounting and following the money to identify the perpetrators of these illegal activities.
“Sir, we will continue to bring our technical skills in forensic auditing to the benefit of the country, working with other security agencies to expose these enemies of progress.”
Speaking on the memo from the Head of the Federation Civil Service stating that professional certificates would no longer be used as a qualification for entry level in the National Civil Service.
“This is, to say the least, a most regrettable development, as encouraging professionalism at all levels of government would enhance the quality of service provided by our civil servants.
“We ask you (Buhari) sir to use your esteemed office to analyze the merits and demerits of this decision and order that it be retraced,” the association pleaded.
President Buhari, in his address, hailed professionals in various fields, especially accounting, emphasizing that they provide the strength and framework for thriving economies, assuring his administration will continue to engage experts to achieve measurable results and reliable.
According to a statement by the President’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari noted the institute’s contributions in ensuring probity, accountability and transparency, calling for more diligence and professionalism.
“Having been a military head of state and returned to politics to become president, after losing three elections, I have seen the accountability system in the country and the mess that needs to be cleaned up,” he said.
Describing ICAN as a “social stabilizer” of the economy, the president said he would review the institute’s reports and recommendations on inclusiveness and strengthening the nation’s accounting system for the growth.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, congratulated the President of ICAN and the new management.
“As a female president in a male-dominated environment, you are an example to our young girls of what can be achieved through diligence and excellence,” she said.
The minister noted that ICAN has for many years played a key role in domesticating some international policies in the country, calling for more interest in the implementation of the finance law.