NNPC missing $20m avoidable –Forensic expert

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From Magnus Eze, Abuja

The Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (AFIA), has said that the much-talked about Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) missing $20 million oil revenue could have been prevented if the nation had forensic auditors.

Former Central Bank Governor, now Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, had in 2014 raised the alarm over the alleged missing fund.  President of AFIA, Dr. Victoria Enape, while declaring open a three-day advanced forensic and investigative audit training for participants from the states in Abuja yesterday, said that fraud had gone digital and could only be tackled with digital technology tools.

Enape disclosed that AFIA was already collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in the fight against corruption, pointing out that forensic auditors in the country had been sensitised to blow the whistle anywhere they identify any corrupt practices. “As you are aware, fraudsters nowadays have gone sophisticated, they are advanced using technological tools to commit fraud; so if an auditor is not equipped with the current tools and sophisticated mechanism, the fight against corruption will not see the light of day.

“We didn’t have these tools in 2014 when there was an issue of missing funds of about $20 million belonging to NNPC; it was difficult for them to find out where the money went to, yet we still had auditors, but they could not detect it,” the forensic expert stated.

She, however, said that the traditional auditors were not to blame because they were not equipped to identify the fraud, while calling on government to ensure that it involves forensic auditing in whatever is being done “if they must succeed in the fight against corruption.”

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