BoI charges internal auditors on financial crimes, best practices
…As NERFUND targets reduction of N17.2b NPLs
Worried about the rise in non-performing loans and financial crimes, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has charged internal auditors on the need to adhere to global best practices and monitor gaps for efficient control mechanism in addressing cybercrimes in the country.
According to the acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, internal auditors must not only identify obstacles hindering business organisations, but also seek ways to support businesses to remain profitable without violating regulatory requirements and incurring losses.
Olagunju, who was represented by the Bank’s Chief Risk Officer and acting Managing Director, National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), Dr. Ezekiel Oseni, said: “Internal auditors should not only detect fraud, but help the management to achieve their purpose, but as we have it today, we have the internal auditors concentrating more on accuracy test, detecting and investigating fraud.”
He, however, stated that since he assumed office as acting Managing Director, NERFUND, he had been able to recover Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) from customers who initially did not want to pay back the loans they borrowed, saying that NPLs estimated to be about N17.2 billion are still in the hands of those who defaulted in paying back the loans borrowed.
“The good news is that many of the customers that did not want to pay before have all been coming around to ask for a loan work out where we would also give them concessions on interest, but I insist that they must pay the entire principal sum before talking about their standing interest. I have been able to successfully refer others that are not willing to pay to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” he added.
The representative of the acting BoI boss, during a quarterly meeting of the Association of Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) said people involved in cyber crimes are very intelligent people and always look for loopholes, advising that it behoves of internal auditors to be on top of their game, study how the system works, identify loopholes are and ensure sufficient control mechanism to address cyber crimes in the country.
“The internal audit function today is not what it used to be many years ago due to several global and localised reasons such as the financial scandals which resulted in massive job losses and loss of shareholders’ fund, new regulations and the dynamics of the business environment,” he added.
He pointed out that internal audit function today is to provide independent assurance that the organisations risk management, governance and internal control are operating effectively, stressing that presently, internal audit function is involved in the transaction process to ensure errors and losses are avoided which is a more preventive measure while it also shares in the blames, losses and errors that could have been avoided.