Fraud Examiners Say Good Governance Panacea to Economic Recession 

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By Omolabake Fasgbon

As the country  grapples with strategies to get out of the economic recession, the Association of Certified  Fraud Examiners have  advised  that good governance which placed premium of transparency and development was the only way  of the present quagmire.

They also commended the ratification of the  of the Unified Code of Corporate Governance launched recently in an anti-fraud seminar organised for members of the Association in Lagos where they resolved to up the ante in ensuring transparency in governance.

According to them in a bullet point decisions reached at the forum, mismanagement of resource ,arising from bad governance was one of the factors that gave birth to economic problems in the country and insisted that the time was ripe for fraud prevention and detection measures to keep the economy stable. 

Delivering a paper at the seminar on  “Good Governance: A veritable Tool for Fighting Fraud During Economic Recession”, Deputy Director, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Mr. Iheanyi  Anyahara said the corporate governance code could be effective in fighting fraud.

“Considering the current global economic meltdown, especially the recession in Nigeria, both domestic and international investors are likely to shy away from countries that do not guarantee investor rights nor provide for adequate corporate disclosures or ensure sound practices.

“It is therefore pertinent that regulators should create more stringent regulatory procedures to detect internal and external fraud, create penalties for erring companies and curb such practices. Also regulators should have the capacity to investigate and probe into the annual reports of companies”, he pointed out.

Anyahara who lamented weak enforcement and regulatory mechanisms in the country noted that such were needed  to be urgently dealt with to keep the incidence of fraud to the barest minimum. 

He called also for the encouragement  of whistle blowing in organisations which he said would go a long way in curbing fraudulent activities. 

Continuing, he urged organisations and government to provide adequate protection for the whistle blowers, adding, “The fear of victimisation has kept many potential whistle blowers from speaking up against corporate malpractices. People tend to maintain the silent culture even when there is an obvious malpractice being perpetrated by the board or other prominent stakeholders. This is because no one wants to lose his/her job and fall back into the unemployment market nor wants to be harmed in the course of speaking out. There should be structures put in place for protection of whistle blowers”, he enthused

In his presentation, President of the association, Godwin Oyedokun, explained that the association was motivated by the  state of the country in relation to its  mission   which was to reduce incidence of fraud and white collar crime  as well as to assist its  membership in fraud detection and deterrence.

He noted that there was a connection between good governance and recession whereas it is  only effective governance that could save the country from recession.

“Effective governance begins from our home before it extends to the corporate world. We are  in  recession because what we have cannot sustain us which means we are not having enough .But then, we can still make do with what we have if good management was  in place. Part of what constitute today’s problems are   mismanagement, lack of focus and lack of planning and that is because there are no capable and competent people managing the resources of the country.

While calling for competent and strategic leadership in key positions, he urged the government to  take the fight against corruption holistically and strengthen  enforcement and regulations in the country.