From Saliu Tsibiri
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday said various acts of corruption being perpetrated in the country were hampering the nation’s quest for sustainable development.
He spoke at a public hearing organized by the House Committees on Anti-Corruption and Commerce on a bill for An Act To Establish The Chartered Institute Of Forensics And Certified Fraud Examiners Of Nigeria, To Provide For The Regulation And Control Of Its Membership And Promote The Practice Of Forensics And Fraud Examiners In Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Peter Akpatason, said until all Nigerians work together to tame the monster of corruption in both public and private lives, the nation may not achieve the ambitions of development for the country.
He said, “The different manifestations of corruption in our society have long mitigated against our national development. Until we have slayed this monster, we may not achieve the ambitions we have for our country.
“Therefore, we have an obligation to do what we must to strengthen the institutions of state responsible for leading the charge against this menace.
“Part of that effort requires us to ensure that these anti-corruption agencies have access to a pool of qualified and credentialed talent to conduct complex fraud investigations, carry out forensic audits and gather the evidence that allows for perpetrators of criminal and corrupt acts to be properly held to account.”
The Speaker renewed his earlier pledge that the House will support the fight against corruption.
“In the Legislative Agenda of the 9th House of Representatives, we also identified the fight against corruption as one of the critical areas of our attention. I assure Nigerians that our commitment in this regard remains as steadfast today as it was then, and that we will continue to take action to meet the commitments we have made,” he said.
He appealed to stakeholders to contribute to improving the Bill that will be an important contribution to the institutional strengthening that is necessary to win the fight against corruption.
Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Shehu Garba, said the hearing is to garner critically needed inputs from relevant stakeholders, and to accommodate citizens’ participation in governance particularly in the law making process.
He said the joint Committee, and indeed the National Assembly was determined to ensure that laws are enacted through participatory and transparent process; therefore inputs from stakeholders remain important.
He said, “The Chartered Institute for Forensic and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria (CIFCFEN) is a professional association which has been in existence for a while and only requires a law to back it up.
“It was established primarily to provide machinery for training, supervision and regulation of the practice of forensic accounting and fraud prevention with a view to protecting the interest(s) of parties to a contract. It is also to give full effect and meaning to the true and fair view concept in stewardship accounting and contractual relationships.
The damage suffered by African countries due to embezzlement, fraud and corruption is over 25% of the combined annual budget of the entire continent, unfortunately, if nothing is done to reverse this trend, it will exceed 45% of the total combined annual budget of the continent by 2050.
“Therefore, the Chartered Institute Of Forensic And Certified Fraud Examiners Of Nigeria (CIFCFEN) is committed to resolving the global challenge posed by embezzlers and career criminals; minimize financial statement fraud, combat money laundering and terrorist financing ,reduce transnational organized crime, fight cybercrimes and identity fraud by training and retraining professionals as either certified forensic accountant or certified fraud examiners to meet the demand of the growing complexities of the financial system and the digital economy.”