Senate, stakeholders differ over CIFIAN bill
The proposed bill for the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (CIFIAN) has pitched the professional accountants and auditors from different bodies against the Senate.
Indeed, the bill seeks to deepen efforts to detect and prevent fraudulent practices in both private and public places, and as well encourage professionalism.
This disagreement came during a public hearing organised by the senate committee on establishment and public Service under the chairmanship of senator Emmanuel Paulker representing Bayelsa central.
During the session, four bills were considered namely, the chartered Institute of forensic and investigative auditors in Nigeria, chartered Institute of finance and control in Nigeria, chartered Institute of forensic accountants of Nigeria and the institute of Mediators and conciliators bill in Abuja.
Before now, the federal government had reportedly cautioned the upper chamber against enacting new laws capable of bastardising professionalism in the country.
But the Minister of finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the relevance of forensic accounting globally could not be overstressed as Nigeria has suffered from various cases of fraudulent practices.
The minister, who was represented by the Director of Home Finance in the ministry, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola also chronicled the federal government’s efforts in detecting and preventing fraud which included the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, Efficiency Unit and Whistle blowing programme.
She also reiterated to the upper chamber, “exercise caution such that the essence of professionalism is not destroyed in the course of creating new bodies”.
Meanwhile, the representatives of the Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria, Professor Usman Ali Awheela and the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria, (CIFIAN) Mrs. Victoria Ayishetu Enape said in their contributions that their members have not been allowed to practice forensic accounting since there was no legislation to that effect.
But Enape said, “ the bill will help Nigeria to have skilled professionals to deepen the fraud prevention, detection and preserve money in government treasury for infrastructural development that is fast disappearing in our country today”.
However, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN) kicked against the proposed bills, saying their functions and responsibilities are already contained in the 1965 Act that established the Institute and would therefore amount to needless duplication of functions.
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