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‘CIFIA Bill, No Threat To Other Professional Bodies’

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The President, Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (CIFIA), Dr Victoria Enape,says the CIFIA Bill does not pose a threat to other professional bodies.
Enape said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, Monday.
She said that the bill did not amount to duplication of duties as Nigeria had no other body in the field of forensic and investigative auditing.
She appealed to the National Assembly to disregard those appealing to them to throw out the bill.
Our source reports that a Public Hearing on the bill conducted by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service chaired by Sen. Emmanuel Paulker held on March 15.
Enape, had during the public hearing, said the bill would help Nigeria to deepen fraud prevention, detection and preserve money in government treasury for infrastructure development.
She told the audience that the body would strengthen the anti-corruption fight by training relevant government agencies in the use of science and technology vis a vis forensic and investigative skills for auditing of financial statement.
“Our bill is not any sort of duplication, it is not a threat to any professional body in Nigeria.
“As we speak, there is no professional body in Nigeria that has forensic and investigative audit in their act, it is verifiable.
“We are the first to come out with a bill of this kind, if any professional body is seeing us as a threat, I want to advise them that we are no threat.
“Our professional body is a step up of what has been on ground, what has been on ground is not adequate.
“It is as a result of the inability and inadequacies of traditional auditing to sniff out fraud that gave rise to a new professional body called CIFIA.
“This is a new trend in the whole world, though, it just came to Nigeria. If it has helped other countries to eradicate fraud and corruption, it will also help Nigeria.”
She alleged that those opposed to the bill had been appealing to their senators through text messages and social media to throw out the bill when presented again at plenary.
According to her, it will be counter-productive to kill such a well-meaning bill, hence the need for senators to disregard such appeals to throw out the bill.
She said that there was separation of powers in the financial sector in Nigeria, Auditor-General for the Federation and Accountant-General of the Federation.
The president said that, while Accountant-General prepared the financial statement, Auditor-General audited the financial statement in the traditional manner.
“Now, we are saying that we have to be a forensic audit body that will be able to audit the financial statement with the use of science and technology. Fraudsters have gone digital and we have to tackle them digitally.
“Two professional bodies are too small for Nigeria, people should not see this as a proliferation of professional bodies, the issue of merging CIFIA and Chartered Institute of Forensic Accountants should not come up.
“It means there will not be checks and balances. if the senate feels like passing the two, it is better because forensic accounting deals with accounting forensically, while forensic auditing deals with auditing forensically,” she said.
According to Enape, CIFIA did not emanate from Nigeria but from Canada where it has its headquarters, hence it cannot be merged with a professional body that emanated from Nigeria.

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MWUN Threatens To Down Tools Over Failed Quay Aprons 

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Friday threatened to shutdown port operations over the dilapidated quay aprons at some of the nation’s seaports.
Speaking in Lagos during a joint press conference put together by the union and Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), President General, MWUN,  Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, reiterated that the lives of labour workers at the affected terminals was at risk, saying that “injury to one is tantamount to injury to all.”
Adeyanju lamented that the union cannot allow the situation consume some dockworkers before protesting against the trend, noting that as a responsible and proactive group, there was the need to down tools for government to do the needful.
Our correspondent gathered that two port terminal, at Tin Can Island Port Complex, Lagos, and another  at Port Harcourt, Rivers Port  Quay wells have been in  dilapidated condition for over five years without any sign of repair works from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Recall that Minister of Transportation, Mu’Azu Sambo, who also inspected the dilapidated portion of the Tin Can Island Port quay apron recently, asked Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the engineers to forward the ‘as-built’ plan of the jetty, alongside other documents to his office for immediate action.
While reacting to questions from the journalists, Adeyanju said the union will also engage management of the NPA in furtherance to address the menacing failed infrastructure of the terminals.
On the recently inked Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NARTO, the President General noted that the collaboration has been in existence for a long while with the aims to cater for drivers’ welfare and support projects of the NPA in port terminals operations.
He also warned members of the dockworkers branch to cooperate and embrace the agreement with the trucking association, noting that any attempt by the dockers to flout the MoU reached so far would result to sanctions from the national executive of MWUN.
He assured the leadership of NARTO, led by its National President, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, of the Union’s commitment towards ensuring that progress and success is achieved  in the agreement.
According to him, the MoU is binding for members of the dockworkers branch, stressing that the Lagos ports was a test run with plans ahead to extend the agreement to other seaports, including, Warri, Calabar and Port Harcourt ports.
Earlier, President of NARTO, Alhaji Othman, lauded the MoU reached with MWUN, adding that success will be achieved in the merger. Othman said in line with port operations, the merger will bring about free flow of vehicular movement in and out of the ports calling on the parties involved to embrace sincerity and transparency for the benefit of the industry and Nigeria.
He said, “We wish to draw the attention of the general public to the decision for MWUN and NARTO to synergise and collaborate on a basis of common desire to ensure seamless environment to do business in the maritime sub sector of the nation’s economy”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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PenCom Approves Use Of Pensions For Mortgage

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National Pension Commission (PenCom), has commenced approval for workers to use 25 per cent of their Retirement Savings Accounts for mortgage.
PenCom in a press statement released on Friday, titled ‘PenCom approves guidelines on accessing Retirement Savings Account balance for payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by RSA holders’, noted that the approval was in line with the Pension Reform Act of 2014.
It stated in part, “PenCom is pleased to inform all stakeholders and the general public, particularly RSA holders, that the commission has approved the issuance and immediate implementation of the guidelines on accessing RSA balance towards payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by RSA holders.
“The approval is in line with Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, which allows RSA holders to use a portion of their RSA balance towards payment of equity for residential mortgage”.
According to the PenCom, the guidelines cover pension contributors in active employment, either as a salaried employee or as a self-employed person.
It added that the maximum amount to be withdrawn is 25 per cent of the total mandatory RSA balance as of the date of application, irrespective of the value of equity contribution required by the mortgage lender.
It further stated that where 25 per cent of a contributor’s RSA balance is not sufficient for payment as equity contribution, that RSA holders may utilize the contingency portion of their voluntary contributions (if any).
To qualify as a mortgage lender for the purpose, it stated, the company must be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, comply with the Contributory Pension Scheme and have valid Pension Clearance Certificate.
“The RSA of the applicant shall have both employer and employee’s mandatory contributions for a cumulative minimum period of 60 months (five years).
“A contributor under the Micro Pension Plan is also eligible, provided he/she has made contributions for at least 60 months (five years) prior to the date of his/her application, and the RSA Holders that have less than three years to retirement are not eligible.
“Married couples, who are RSA holders, are eligible to make a joint application, subject to individually satisfying the eligibility requirements.
“RSA holders, if registered before 1 July 2019, must have their records updated through the RSA data recapture exercise.
“Application for equity contribution for residential mortgage shall be in person and not by proxy.” it stated.

By: Corlins Walter

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Car Hires Operators, Bolt Driver Flex Muscles In PH Airport

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There was pandemonium at the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa, Friday, as the Accredited Car Hires operators clashed with a Bolt taxi operator over passengers.
The scenario that played out got to the extent that everyone scampered for safety, as the Bolt driver went wild with his vehicle, and defied everything put in place to stop him, determined to crush anything, including humans, that stool on his way.
Problem started when the suspected Bolt driver was stopped by the Car Hires.  After a heated argument, characterized by abuses, the bolt driver decided to enter his vehicle in anger, after he sensed that his car was in danger of being confiscated.
In the commotion that ensued, the car hires, as usual, used their iron piercing instruments to block the tyres of the vehicle to keep it within their custody, and the uproar attracted  the attention of other airport users.
The Car hires and their allies at the airport had always insisted that no other taxi operator must carry passengers at the airport, since they do not pay any levy to the airport authority.
Consequently, they use every force necessary to stop other outside taxis from carrying passengers from the airport.
Friday’s incident took a new twist, as the Bolt driver over. Powered the forces used by the car hires, and went on a suicide mission, which made people to scamper for safety, including the car hires.
The driver went on a speed spree away from the airport. Even when the piercing instruments cut his tyre, he drove in such reckless manner capable of pulling down a building, thereby setting the entire environment on panic.
Some security agents present had to clear the way for the Bolt driver who drove out of the Airport with the iron piercing instrument obstructing his car, defiling all attempts to stop him.

By: Corlins Walter

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