Promoters of the proposed Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) have urged members of the House of Representatives to ignore attempts being made by the Institute Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) to scuttle passage of the Bill seeking to establish the institute.
Protem President of CIFIAN, Dr Victoria Enape, described ICAN’s continued attempt to frustrate the bill as an act of “parochial interest”, saying her members had earlier been given fair-hearing by the Senate to defend the passage of the bill.
Dr Enape cited a letter to the leadership of House Representatives by ICAN dated October 29 signed by its 54th President, Razaq Jaiyeola, in which the institute urged lawmakers not to consider the bill after the Senate had passed it, arguing that considering the Bill will amount to the duplication of the accounting profession.
She explained that the Senate gave CIFIAN fair hearing to defend the arguments, accusations and allegations levelled against it, saying, “based on facts and evidence CIFIAN trashed out all the false accusations and worn-out arguments of ICAN before the Senate passed the CIFIAN Bill”.
The CIFIAN interim president said the proposed body got overwhelming support of the public due to the importance of Forensic and Investigative Audit in the country.
“We are surprised about this continuous deliberate effort of ICAN to thwart the credible work done by the Senate which is more than any self-interest and parochial interest,” she said.
Dr Enape further clarified that the ICAN and CIFIAN are being regulated by different international bodies, vowing that forensic auditors will resist all antics of ICAN.
“ICAN and other Accounting professional bodies are under the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) but our CIFIAN will be under International Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors (IFFAA).
“CIFIAN cannot be regulated by IFAC let alone ICAN because we are not Accounting body. Therefore, ICAN should know its limits by finding out the differences between accounting bodies and anti-fraud bodies. ICAN and CIFIAN have no meeting point,” she said.
Dr Enape added that ICAN leadership had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him not to give assent to the Bill, which was jointly sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan and Sen. Andy Uba.
According to her, the ICAN team led by Jaiyeola stressed that the Bill seeks to criminalise the age-long practice of accountancy by members of ICAN, adding that there is no defined gap in the practice and regulation of accountancy it seeks to fill.
In the letter sent to the House of Representatives by ICAN sighted by DAILY POST, the Accountant Institute argued that no one can become an auditor without first acquiring ‘sufficient and appropriate knowledge’, experience and skills and also passing the qualifying examinations of any of the legally-recognised Professional Accounting bodies in Nigeria.
“It is therefore strange for the new bodies which the above bills seek to establish to produce specialist ‘forensic and investigative auditors’ who will not first be professional accountants as defined by the ICAN law enacted by the parliament.”
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