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ANAN seeks FRC-led forensic audit over ‘missing $20b’, says ICAN, IFAC should not participate


ANAN President, Anthony Nzom

ANAN President, Anthony Nzom

ANOTHER call, with different perspective has been made for a fresh inquest into the alleged missing $20 billion from the books of Nigeria’s wholly-owned oil company.

Specifically, the newly sworn-in President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Anthony Nzom, said that the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria should be assigned to engage experts in forensic accounting to look into the so-called missing money at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Nzom, who flayed the reign of allegations and counter allegations over the issue and uncertainties in midst of first forensic audit, therefore called for a fresh start that would be led by FRC.

According to him, if the Federal Government feels there is any neutral body that should come in, it should be FRC, which will in turn go to ANAN and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to explore the services of forensic accountants.

“It was said that the then Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, came out with three different figures on the issue. That means he was not sure.

“By giving three different figures, this led to the controversy. First, he said $49 billion, later brought it down to $12 billion and finally took it up to $20 billion. What we expected of him on that issue was to call for reconciliation between CBN and the NNPC.

“Many things in the accounting profession are always based on reconciliation, like stock reconciliation or bank reconciliation. Sometimes, you discover that nothing was actually missing,” the ANAN boss said.

He noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers is a member of ICAN and an audit firm that belongs to ICAN, saying that since it is an audit firm that belongs to ICAN, you cannot ask ICAN to audit the work and reconfirm the figure.

“The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is a world body of professional accountants that do not always involve in any type of auditing. IFAC mainly regulates the activities of professional accountancy bodies globally.

“ANAN is of the opinion that ICAN and IFAC cannot be involved in the forensic auditing, which the Senator-Elect, Adeola Olamilekan was talking about,” he said.

Explaining the scope of the investigation required, Nzom said: “Each time we talk about ‘forensic’, many people do not know what it is all about. It is an evidence you can take to the court and prove.”

He therefore, called for a right decision on the composition of the new forensic auditing that would marked by transparency, professionalism and evidence-based.

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1 Comment
  • Nnamdi Okeke

    It’s really unfortunate that at this stage of our national development, the state is unable to explain or put succinctly reconcile the whereabouts of “God-knows-how-much” that is missing from the state owned oil company NNPC. The inability of NNPC, CBN & Fed Ministry of Finance to tidy their books & present a correct statement to the nation invariably sends the wrong signal to the committee of nations & subsequently dampens the resolve of prospective investors. One needs not to be told that this financial recklessness if left unchecked will certainly deal a fatal blow to the national psyche & fans the embers of disunity, civil strife, corruption, & anarchy. Now is the time to partner with the new leadership of ANAN (Association of National Accountants of Nigeria) led by Mr Anthony Nzom & it’s affiliate organizations for collaboration & financial prudence. His ten point agenda if clinically approached will in no small measure introduce financial discipline in the dealings & affairs of government & reduce the huge cost of governance in Nigeria. The field of forensic auditing should be exploited to preclude the reemergence of this national embarrassment. The new leadership of ANAN led by Mr Anthony Nzom is more than equipped to bring financial discipline to the sector. Now is the time. Nnanyelugo Nnamdi Okeke writes in from Abuja