The Committee of Heads of Internal Audit Departments/Units in Nigerian Universities (CHIADINU), has called on the Federal Government to commit itself to making a strike in tertiary institutions in Nigeria less attractive as a way to develop functional manpower for the country.
The 28th annual conference that was held over the weekend at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, urged Auditors in Nigerian Universities to update their technical and non-technical skills in the areas of information systems audit and audit software.
It explained that Information technology knowledge is an essential skill tool for all Internal Auditors in risk management and driving value in the new paradigm shift in our various Universities.
According to the Conference with thetheme: “Electronic Transactions and Fraud Prevention in Nigerian Universities: The role of the Internal Auditors,” for Internal Auditors to remain relevant, they must leverage the powerful capabilities of information technology.
It explained that Internal Auditors need not only be computer literate but must have a deeper understanding of how information technology affects the University’s sources of information.
It advocated that for effective control embedded in Accounting Packages there is a strong need for an Internal Auditor to be involved at every stage of the project life cycle
CHIADINU members regretted that Auditors are not included in the Budgeting Process, Defense and Implementation in most Nigerian Universities, where quite a number are yet to upgrade their Internal Audit to Directorate status and as well as establishing a standing Audit Committee of the Council.
While noting that electronic payment and collection platforms revolve around Bursary from acquisition to implementation, while the Auditors are merely restricted from having the necessary access required to perform their expected roles, in most Universities, CHIADINU recommended that Council and Management of all Universities in Nigeria as a matter of urgency should invest in the capacity building of all Internal Auditors in their various Universities to bridge the gaps identified in the areas of information systems audit and audit software.
The conference also called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), to assist in building the technical capacities of Internal Auditors in all Nigerian Universities, while hinting that its Leadership would liaise with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for support in the area of Active Data Audit Software Acquisition and Training.
In a Communique signed by the trio of Dr. Felix Araoye, Chairman of the Conference; Mr. Onifade VICTOR, Chairman COMMUNIQUE Committee and Mrs. Esther Ademoye, Secretary of the Communique Committee, the Conference agreed that CHIADINU should look inwards by establishing its training arms to assist in the capacity building for their subordinates in all Nigerian Universities.
The Committee called on Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to take necessary steps for full automation of Bursaries, Audit and Registries as information technology would increase efficiency and effectiveness within the University system.
CHIADINU also recommended that the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) and Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities should include Auditors in the Budgeting Process, Defense and Implementation, including all Hearing and Defense at the National Assembly.
It added that representatives of Audit Departments/Units should be allowed to attend all meetings of the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) and Projects, Development and Evaluation Committee in order to have first-hand information to advise Management appropriately.
“In line with international best practices and sound corporate governance, the leadership of the Committee should liaise with NUC so that necessary University laws should be amended to enable Governing Councils and Managements of all Nigerian Universities to establish Standing Audit Committee of the Council to engender internal checks, internal controls and create an enabling financial working environment in financial and technological eco-system.
“With the increasing strategic roles of Internal Auditors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and embracing the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), CHIADINU appeals to Vice Chancellors and Management of Nigerian Universities to allow Heads of Internal Audit to be In-Attendance at all Management Meetings, this will keep the Auditors abreast with Management new policies and comply with the international standards of the SAI, in pursuit of SDGs in our Universities”.