By Omolabake Fasogbon
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), has called on stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to take the fight against corruption up a notch through collaborative efforts.
President of ACFE , Prof. Godwin Oyedokun, stated this at the 3rd annual conference of the association that took place in Lagos recently.
Oyedokun noted that despite the efforts being deployed so far to nip corruption in the bud, the situation appeared to be getting worst in the country.
He explained that the status quo informed the theme of the conference: “Anti Corruption Crusade: Stakeholders Call to Action”, so as to bring all stakeholders together to study the threat and find a common ground.
The conference had in attendance resource persons and facilitators from diverse backgrounds ranging from security, taxation auditing, capital market, banking, ICT as well as players from the public sector,amongst others.
In the conference keynote address delivered by President of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Olajumoke Simplice, stated that while corruption is not peculiar to Nigeria, the prevalence and impact is alarming in the country.
Quoting reports, she said: “ In 2012, Nigeria was estimated to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since independence while corruption also reduces its GDP by 0.5 per cent”.
In stemming the tide, Simplice called for the enforcement of existing laws as well as proper governance structure in both public and private institutions.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, in his session, themed: “Power Distance, Cultural Affinity and Political Tone in Fighting Fraud in Nigeria”, stated that corruption Index in Nigeria averaged 27 Points according to Transparency International.
He added that corruption was high in this clime as a result of Nigerians inability to report cases.
He opined that if Nigeria must overcome corruption, it must strengthen the enforcement of whistle blowing policy as he maintained that such was the biggest anti corruption tool.
Also, Forensic expert from Delloitte & Touche, Beulah Adeoye, advised on more concentration on technology, by exploring artificial intelligence in combating fraud ,an offshoot of corruption.
Also speaking at the even, the 2nd Vice President of ACFE, Dr. Titilayo Fowokan, stated that in addition to making members be up to date with their credit, the conference promised to impact on individual and the country at large as all collectively put their hands on deck to confront the menace of corruption.