Forensics institute urges Buhari to sign Federal Audit Service Bill
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to speedily sign the Federal Audit Service Bill passed by the 9th Assembly.
This is in pursuant to Section 85 of the Constitution that empowers the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF) to audit Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
President, Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria (CIFCFIN), Dr. Iliyasu Gashinbaki, at the 7th direct membership graduation in Abuja, explained that the pre-Independence audit law known as ‘The Audit Ordinance Act of 1956’ and The Public Accounts Committee Act, Cap P35, LFN 2004’ as amended, did not give the OAuGF enough leverage to function optimally.
He said: “The bill, once assented to, will empower the Auditor-General to carry out audits of all revenues accruing to the federation, expenditures of the federation from all sources, donations, grants and loans accruable to the MDAs or other public entities.”
According to the CIFCFIN boss, the bill is very crucial to the prevention of misappropriation of public funds and to aid the fight against corruption.
“The audit bill will bring accountability and probity to the finances of government and the fight against corruption. This will go a long way in ensuring the independence of the OAuGF,” he added.
At the ceremony, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Abdulrashhed Bawa, congratulated CIFCFIN on the signing of its charter into law by the President on December 23, 2022.
Represented by Gideon Dabi, the EFCC Chairman said: “Today’s ceremony, therefore, is an auspicious one in the life of the institute, which, no doubt, has taken it upon itself the serious responsibility of setting standards and regulating the duteous field of forensics and fraud investigation in Nigeria.”
In his remarks, former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Suleyman Ndanusa, expressed happiness in the CIFCFIN partnership with some of the key financial crime-fighting agencies in Nigeria viz EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the police.
“Coming from the financial sector, I know and wish this chartered institute had come 50 years ago because the experiences of regulators like me at SEC and, of course, as Managing Director of a bank, I required an eagle eye to see things an ordinary eye of the internal audit or auditors may not all see. So, in my sector, we definitely need people like you, just like I know that other sectors will need you,” he said.
On his experience during the training for direct membership, one of the inductees and class governor, Dr. Ben Ogbeide said: “The training was interesting and impactful. Yes, we learnt a lot of things about fingerprints, and all the things that have to do with forensic and fraud investigations. I know there will be many more trainings coming because the ultimate goal is for us to see how we can reduce, if not totally eliminate, corruption in Nigeria, and the way to go now is through forensics and not just the normal book and audit that we were used to before now.”
The 7th direct membership class, which is also the first since CIFCFIN’s Charter, had 92 members, comprising executive directors of banks, serving and retired directors of various MDAs and very strong gurus in Forensics and Accounting.
Ogbeide added: “So, I think we are going places and making things happen in the area of forensic examinations and fraud investigations.”