The Society for West African Internal Audit Practitioners (SWAIAP) has called on Nigerians to refrain from aiding and abetting corruption by refusing to provide and receive bribes or participate in every manner of corrupt practices.
The internal auditors made the call as one their resolutions at the inaugural induction, investiture and fellowship award dialogue of the society in Lagos at the weekend.
President of SWAIAP, Mr. Patrick Nzechukwu, said that the dialogue, with the theme “Internal auditing: Effective tool for anti-corruption, risk management controls and corporate governance”, was apt as corruption continues to ravage many nations of the world including Nigeria.
According to him, SWAIAP was established in June 2018 with the objective of institutionalising internal auditing in West Africa as a major tool for anti-corruption campaign as well as mitigation of inefficiency, ineffectiveness, wastes and other forms of financial and non-financial risk.
It was also conceived to “improve business processes and performance” in both private and public sectors, he said.
Nzechukwu said: “We are committed to educating internal auditors on global best practices with emphasis on effective corporate governance, risk management system and adequate internal control and compliance and virile reporting systems, and informing stakeholders on the imperatives of effective internal auditing in West Africa.”
However, the SWAIA president queried Nigeria employers’ preference for international certifications while Nigerians were doing better than their counterparts globally.
Chairman of the occasion, Gbolahan Oyegoke, commended SWAIAP for the focus of the national dialogue, adding that internal auditors hardly have friends within an organisation due to professional discipline and anti-corruption stance.
He said that the best approach to fighting corruption was to prevent it from happening, urging practioners to be proactive at all times.
“An internal auditor is caught between management who wants you to catch thieves and the staff whom the internal auditors want all processes to be followed.
“The destiny of organisations rests on your capacity and capabilities, because when everything moves on fine nobody cares about you but when there is an error you will be held liable,” he added.
Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said that Nigeria was struggling to curb corruption in all sectors of the nation’s economy.
Represented by Alhaji Abdulraheem Usman, the NEITI boss called on staff of internal control departments in organisations to build capacity in the use of modern auditing softwares in order to effectively block leakages and proactively build defence systems against fraud.
He said that there was need for organisations to embrace and deploy technology and modern audit softwares to aid its internal control mechanisms.
Orji said: “For every organisation which intends to achieve its set objectives, the five components of a good internal control as set by Committee for Sponsoring Organisation (COSO) framework must be adhered to. The framework, which includes control environment, risk management, control activities, information and communication and monitoring must be taken into consideration to curb malfeasance in any typical organisation.