In pursuit of a more inclusive efforts at combating corruption in Nigeria, emphasizing professionalism and patriotism, Internal Audit practitioners have been urged to uphold ethical standards and embrace anti-corruption strategies in the pursuit of their professional duties. Their role is crucial in preventing the facilitators of illicit assets and corruption by proactively preventing, tracking, and recovering illicit wealth.
This call to action emerged during the 31st Anti-Corruption Situation Room, organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) in partnership with the Society for West African Internal Audit Practitioners (SWAIAP) in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, September, 2023.
During his keynote address at this anti-corruption workshop, Mr. Andrew Ogochukwu, the acting Auditor-General of the Federation, underscored the imperative of strengthening internal audit functions across government entities. He emphasized that internal auditors are the frontline defense against corruption, responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of internal controls to safeguard public assets and prevent their diversion for private gain.
Dr. Mrs. Oluwatoyin Madein, the Accountant-General of the Federation (represented by Adejo Osayi, Deputy Director of Special Duties), also urged audit and accounting practitioners to be mindful of potential role overlaps that can lead to confusion and reduced effectiveness in serving the public interest.
Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman of HEDA, emphasized the workshop’s significance in the fight against corruption, calling for professionalism and urging professional bodies to impose strict sanctions on members who enable corruption in the course of their duties. He expressed concern about how some auditors and accountants, through unethical conduct, inadvertently become enablers of corruption.
The workshop concluded with a communique that included a plea to the Federal Government to issue a formal letter of appointment to the Acting Auditor of the Federation, enabling him to fully carry out the responsibilities of the office for the benefit of the nation.
The 31st Anti-Corruption Situation Room workshop held in Abuja attracted substantial participation, with over 50 attendees, including auditors, state and non-state actors actively engaged in the anti-corruption fight. Distinguished panelists and participants included Mr. AbdulKarim Chukkol (Acting Chairman of the Economic Financial Crime Commission), represented by Mrs. Idowu Oluwole (Director of Internal Audit, EFCC); Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission), represented by Mr. Bhadmus Adejare (Chief Superintendent, Internal Audit, ICPC); Dr. Woko Boniface (Director of the Internal Audit Department at the University of Port-Harcourt); Mr. Patrick Nzechukwu (President, SWAIAP); Dr. Emmanuel Moore Abolo (GMD/CEO of The Risk Management Academy Limited); Obalim Esedebe (CEO, Ciel Consulting), among others.