As controversy trailing the passage of the Bill to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) lingers, promoters of the bill have again carpeted Institute Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) over its insistence to scuttle the smooth passage of the Bill.
ICAN, had in a letter dated October 29 to the Speaker, House of Representatives, which was signed by its 54th President, Razaq Jaiyeola urged lawmakers not to consider the bill after the Senate had passed it, arguing that considering the Bill will certainly amount to the duplication of Accounting profession.
Also, before the letter was sent to the Speaker, ICAN had earlier visited President Buhari, urging him not to accent to the Bill, which was jointly sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan and Sen. Andy Uba.
Jaiyeola stressed 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.
The letter partly read, “In the case of the Accountancy Profession to which these Bills relate, a person cannot 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.”
But reacting to ICAN’s claims on behalf of forensic auditors, the Protem President of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN), Mrs Victoria Enape, described ICAN’s continual attempts to scuttle the bill as an act of “parochial interest”, saying her members had earlier been given fair-hearing by the Senate to defend.
She said, “In line with the provision of fair hearing enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, the Senate gave CIFIAN fair hearing, to defend the arguments, accusations and allegations leveled against CIFIAN, thus, based on facts/evidences CIFIAN trashed out all the false accusations and worn-out arguments of ICAN before the Senate passed the CIFIAN Bill. CIFIAN 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 efforts of ICAN to thwart the credible work done by the senate which is more than any self-interest and parochial interest. However, listed below are solid and verifiable facts against the falsehood misleading propaganda of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).”
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 International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) but ours 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 has no meeting point,” she said.