By Sylvester Thompson
Dr Victoris Enape, President, Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIA) says the passage of the CIFIA Bill will reassure foreign investors and boost foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.
Enape briefed newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
The Senate had recently passed a bill for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria.
The bill which is referred to as the CIFIA Bill, for the registration and regulation of membership, finally passed the 3rd reading on July 5, 2018.
Enape said the bill was jointly sponsored by Senators Ahmad Lawan and Andy Uba.
She said the bill went through 1st reading on Dec.21, 2017, 2nd reading on Jan.31, 2018, and was referred to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service under the Chairmanship of Sen. Pauler Emmanuel.
Enape said that the bill had a successful public hearing on March 14, 2018 with overwhelming support of the general public.
“The CIFIA Bill will answer the question often posed by foreign investors as to the safety and guarantee of their direct foreign investments in our country.
“It will boost the generation and conservation of foreign exchange through its training programmes for Nigerians and foreigners, especially neighbouring African countries.’’
She also said that inability and inadequacies in traditional audit gave rise to a new profession called forensic and investigative auditing.
The president further said that CIFIA was a vital tool in the desire of the Nigerian government to eradicate corruption and fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.
“The primary domain of forensic and investigative auditing is to work within the investigative process from the scene of financial fraud to court, providing information and evidence.
“CIFIA provides the legal framework for the registration, training, regulation and certification of practitioners in line with global best practices.
“CIFIA members are trained in this unique practice of financial fraud prevention, detection and investigation because forensic and investigative audit involves litigation support and court testimonies
“The Bill will save the Nigerian government the cost of inviting foreign forensic auditors for fraud investigations,’’ she said.
She said the uniqueness of CIFIA was that membership was not limited to accountants alone, but cuts across professionals from other disciplines like lawyers, criminologists, security experts among others.
Enape listed other benefits of CIFIA as strengthening the nation’s institutional frameworks, bringing the nation to par with other developed countries in line with global standards and competitiveness.
Others are partnering with relevant government agencies and helping in training their agents and staff through certification on the use of science and technology of forensic audit skills for auditing financial statements.
It will also leverage on the skills already acquired by thousands trained forensic experts in Nigeria and Africa at large, to offer training and re-training of personnel in order to ensure active participation.