SWAIAP Holds First Conference in Nigeria

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By Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The President of Society for West African Internal Audit Practitioners (SWAIAP), Mr. Noble Patrick Nzechukwu, has said that the organisation will hold its first conference in Nigeria on October 17, 2020.

Nzechukwu, who disclosed this Friday during a webinar meeting organised to sensitise members of the coming conference, added that the theme of the conference is ‘Internal Auditor: The Unappreciated Catalyst’.

According to him, “This conference is meant to educate, sensitise and inform the public on the critical roles of internal auditors as a profession and also distinguishing it from the roles of accountants, particularly, external auditors.

“As the first Executive President of SWAIAP and author, ‘A to Z of Internal Audit Practice’, I am poised for a paradigm shift the way internal auditors are viewed and treated in our clime. We are going to use this first conference which is going online due to Covid-19 and social distancing law in the country to let the public know that internal auditors are no longer underdogs and shadow of CFOs but a critical catalyst to the smooth running of every establishment and attainment of its objectives from private to public sectors.

“A lot of people tend to misplace or mistake internal auditors for accountants, as well as external auditors. They might not be too far from the truth; bit we are going to use this event to enumerate and explain the differences.”

The SWIAP president, who said internal audit has been a professional body since the 70s, added that: “Though internal auditing isn’t a course that is offered in the tertiary institutions of most West African countries at the moment, nor offered by any indigenous professional body, notwithstanding that it has been a professional body since 1978 and officially practised since 1948, SWAIAP as a corporate organization is working hard to train internal auditors across West Africa and change the orientation people have for internal auditing both in private and public sectors, including our institutions of learning.

“We believe that this conference will expose and explain why many managerial people should expose themselves to the intricacies and training of what it takes to be an internal auditor being a universal profession.”

Those expected at the conference, according to him, are Dr. Andreas Koutoupis, an Associate Professor of Financial Accounting from Mediterranean Destiny Limited, Greece, as the lead speaker; Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State and certified internal control and auditor as a keynote speaker, while Tola Vong from Cambodia and Margret Ogunkoya of Lagos State University and a host of others would be speaking at the event.

The conference is aimed at reviewing the current internal auditing practices in Nigeria and West Africa in comparison with global best practices; practically sharing experiences on how to practise internal auditing in our respective organizations and educate internal auditors on global best practices with emphasis on effective corporate governance, risk management and internal control and compliance processes and virile reporting systems.

A member of the Board of Trustees of SWAIAP, Dr. Austin Okogun, said: “We shall be using the Zoom virtual platform for this conference and we are encouraging companies, decision makers, business founders/owners and staff who are interested in becoming an internal auditor or having better understanding about internal audit roles to log in on October 17, 2020 for the conference. They would be opportune to ask professional questions and also have an idea of the current evolution of internal auditing in Nigeria and ECOWAS region.”

SWAIAP is a professional body that organises and brings together internal auditors and related assurance providing professionals across West African countries.

SWAIAP was incorporated to institutionalize internal auditing as a foremost tool for preventing corruption and corrupt practices and to improve corporate efficiency, effectiveness and economy by mitigating as far as possible, all forms of financial and nonfinancial risks both in the private and public sectors.