Nigeria: Corrupt Auditors and Auditing Practices
Sometimes its good to read about the auditing profession in other countries to get a sense of perspective about auditing in the USA.
This story published in the allAfrica.com News Service provides a good sense of the lack of ethics, oversight and reliability of auditors in Nigeria. I’ve always wondered (and sometimes admired) how some companies do business in places like these and consistently stay in compliance with the FCPA. At other times I just wonder how it is that half of the officials in these places are corrupt, but the foreigners who do business with them are always ethical and lawful. After you read the excerpt below, you can read the complete article by clicking on the link at the bottom of the post:
“Abuja – When the EFCC carried the anti-corruption war to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources recently, it yielded good results. The head of internal audit received marked bills totalling N2 million as a bribe from some contractors. He was caught in the act!
The story has not attracted undue attention, partly because it is common and “normal” in government ministries, departments and agencies. Auditors are envied even by other corrupt colleagues. They obstruct free flow of files so that contractors, suppliers and even workmates are forced to offer bribes to them. Often, they do not act alone: they have the backing of their bosses who also have itchy fingers. In the private sector, internal and external auditors collaborate to doctor the books of quoted and unquoted companies.”
To finish reading the story from the allAfrica.com News Service, click the link below:
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*** Important Update ***
Soon after I posted the article above, I was contacted by a Nigerian person who directed me to a Nigerian Blog that carried a story on the subject of fraud, auditors and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Although, I am not a follower of business, political or social events in Nigeria, I found it appropriate to add information about this story, and link it for the benefit of those interested. The story shows how real efforts are being made in Nigeria to combat corruption and how local auditors are not all corrupt. Below is an excerpt of the story, posted in the Nigeria General Discussion Blog Website which you can read in its entirety by following the link on the bottom of this update:
“How Corruption, Theft Ruin Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Is PIB the Way Out? – From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja.
The high level corruption and theft in the extractive industry particularly the oil and gas industry has been exposed for the second time by the Hart Group and Sam Afemikhe group of auditors that carried out the audit report on the activities of the multinational firms in the oil and gas sector, the Nigerian government institutions responsible for both revenue, tax collections and regulations of all financial transactions in sector.
The auditors were commissioned by the National Stakeholders Working Group of NEITI under the chairmanship of Professor Assisi Asobie and their report was unprecedented for their independence and comprehensiveness. In that report, both financial and physical audits were carried out. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, several government institutions as well as oil companies were indicted for stealing chunk of moneys either during crude production or refined oil product export or supply.
In the report also, the auditors found some discrepancies among the Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), royalties and gas flaring penalties the companies declared they have paid and what the CBN said it had received.
NNPC’s reported cash calls were reconciled with receipts by the joint venture operators, but when the audit moved away from the CBN to focus on PPT and royalties in more detail, it ran into several problems because the companies’ assessments of production differed from the Federal Inland Revenue Service others’ records.
NEITI was created in 2004 essentially to develop a framework for and ensure transparency and accountability in the reporting and disclosure by the extractive industry companies, of revenue, owing to or paid to the government. As a subset of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, the main task of NEITI is the reconciliation of payment s made by the extractive industry companies with receipts recorded by public agencies.”
The article goes on to mention the challenges faced by the auditors who undertook the investigation, attempts to influence or derail their report by political forces, the large amounts of moneys involved and identifies some of the the foreign companies investigated.
To read entire article, please follow this link: