Use forensic audit to fish out financiers of terrorism, ICAN tells Buhari 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy forensic audits to check illegal activities of financiers of terrorism in the country.

The body, has, therefore, offered to avail the country of their technical competencies in forensic audit and working with security agencies to expose the financiers of terrorism and illegal business in the country.

President ICAN, Comfort  Eyitayo, told the President this Friday at the presidential villa, when she led a delegation of accountants to the State House.

According to her, ICAN has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) with the Nigerian Police Academy on forensic investigations and auditing to assist the government  boost a prosperous economy.

Eyitayo, who pledged that the body will keep supporting the nation-building efforts of President Buhari and his administration, especially in sensitization on monetary policies and taxation, commended administration for adhering to best accounting principles and practices to secure and revive the economy, by particularly reverting to the January to December budget calendar.

The accounting body also faulted government’s decision through the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to jettison professional certificates as qualification for entry level into the nation’s civil service, describing it as shocking.

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Eyitayo said the institute had established seven faculties to train accountants in specialized fields, which include forensic accounting, adding, “It is noteworthy that the institute had signed an MoU with the Nigerian Police Academy on forensic investigations and auditing.”

She added that working with security outfits, could be used to reduce the security challenges facing the country by tracking all monies used in committing crimes, and payments.

She said, “We are worried with the nefarious activities of some bad elements in the society who engage in the dastardly acts of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, killings for ritual purposes, among many others.

“Fighting terrorism is a big challenge across the world and we commend the efforts being made to stem this tide in our country.

“As Chattered Accountants, we acknowledge our role in combating terrorism by the application of the principles of forensic accounting and following the money to fish out the perpetrators of these illegal activities.

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“Sir, we would continue to avail the country of our technical competences in forensic audit, working with other security agencies to expose these enemies of progress.”

Speaking on the memo that emanated from the Head of Civil Service of the Federation stating that professional certificates would no longer be used as qualification for entry level into the nation’s civil service.

“This, to say the least, is a most unfortunate development, because encouraging professionalism across all levels of government would give traction to the quality of service delivered by our civil servants.

“We appeal to you (Buhari) sir to use your esteemed office to analyze the merits and demerits of this decision and direct that it should be retraced,” the association pleaded.

President Buhari, in his remark, hailed professionals in various fields, especially accounting, stressing that they provide the strength and framework for thriving economies, assuring that his administration will continue to engage experts to gain measurable and reliable results.

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari noted the contributions of the institute in ensuring probity, accountability and transparency, urging more diligence and professionalism.

“Having served as a military Head of State, and returned to politics to serve as a President, after losing three elections, I have seen the system of accountability in the country, and the mess to be cleaned up,’’ he said.

Describing ICAN as a “social stabilizer” of the economy, the President said he would go through reports and recommendations of the institute on inclusivity and strengthening the nation’s accounting system for growth.

In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, congratulated the President of ICAN and the new management.

“As a female President in a male dominated environment, you are an example to our young girls of what can be achieved through diligence and excellence,’’ she said.

The Minister noted that ICAN had, over many years, played a key role in the domestication of some international policies in the country, urging more interest in Finance Act implementation.