13 May 2015, Abuja – The new President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Anthony Nzom, has said that the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria should be assigned the responsibility of engaging experts in forensic accounting to look into the alleged unremitted revenue by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Nzom, who was reacting to criticism that had trailed the recent release of the report of auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers, who investigated the claim of missing money, stated this in Lagos.
The Federal Government had hired forensic auditors to scrutinise the accounts of the NNPC following the controversies generated by the allegation of the missing money made by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.
According to him, if the Federal Government feels there is any neutral body that should come in, it should be the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, which should approach ANAN and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria to ask for experts in forensic accounting.
Nzom said that both bodies had members who were very good in forensic accounting.
He said, “It was said that the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, came out with three different figures on the issue. That means he was not sure. By giving three different figures on the so-called missing oil money, he was not sure. This led to the controversy.
“First, he said $49bn; he brought it down to $2bn; and finally took it up to $20bn. What we expected of him on that issue was to call for reconciliation between the CBN and the NNPC.
“Many things in the accounting profession are always based on reconciliation like stock reconciliation or bank reconciliation. Sometimes, you will discover that at the end of the day, nothing is missing.”
He noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers was a member of ICAN.
Nzom added, “It is an audit firm that belongs to ICAN. Therefore, since it is an audit firm that belongs to ICAN, you cannot ask ICAN to audit the work and reconfirm the figures.
“The International Federation of Accountants is a world body of professional accountants who I do not think are always involved in any type of auditing. The IFAC is a global body that regulates the activities of professional accountancy bodies all over the world.
“We (ANAN) are of the opinion that ICAN and IFAC cannot be involved in the forensic auditing, which the Senator-elect, Adeola Olamilekan was talking about. Each time we talk about forensic audit, people do not know what it is all about.”
According to him, the word ‘forensic’ is evidence that can be taken to court as a proof.