The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria has indicated its preparedness to collaborate with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other stakeholders to eliminate corruption in the country.

This was disclosed in a statement issued over the weekend at the end of a retreat in Lagos of the Governing Council of the Institute, which had in attendance representatives of the SCUML, NFIU, FRC and the Big Four Accounting firms.

The President of ICAN, Dr Innocent Okwuosa, said, “The retreat was organized to review the Institute’s processes in view of its upward trajectory mandate to deepen its advocacy and thought leadership mandate in national development, among other initiatives.”

Okwuosa also appealed to SCUML to review some of its operational processes that make direct registration difficult, forcing stakeholders to register through consultants. He also promised that the Institute would leverage the template received from SCUML to implement market entry control checks on licensed firms.

Speaking at the retreat, a Director at SCUML, Mr Matthew Enu, who represented Mr Daniel Isei, stated that as a global standard setter, self–regulatory bodies, like ICAN, should take the necessary measures to prevent criminals or their associates from being professionally accredited or hold a significant, controlling interest or management function in accounting firms. He further urged ICAN to always partner with law enforcement agents or relevant authorities in conducting background checks on intending licensees.

Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council, Ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, commended ICAN for its collaborations with FRC, saying, “A good cordial relationship with relevant stakeholders in the Accountancy profession is important for growth and development of the profession in our country. The FRC is therefore urging the Professional Accountancy Bodies in the country to work with FRC for the good of the profession and the country at large.

Meanwhile, the Head of Sanctions, Mr Chinedum Odenyi at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit pointed out that Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions are the most vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing.

He, therefore, solicited more interaction with ICAN to strengthen compliance with the relevant Anti Money Laundry/Combating the Financing of Terrorism/Counter Proliferation Financing laws, regulations and guidelines to ensure there is a clear understanding of obligations.

Odenyi also recommended establishing a system to identify ML/TF risks, have measures in place to mitigate those risks, and file Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to the NFIU, which are parts of the requirements for Nigeria to exit the Financial Action Task Force grey-list.

At the end of the retreat, SCUML and NFIU sought the ICAN’s collaboration in ensuring that Nigeria exits the greylisting by the FATF, a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

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