The Bank of Industry (BoI) has advised internal auditors to support businesses with recommendations that could assist them to get bank funding in spite of business obstacles.
Mr Waheed Olagunju, the Acting BoI Managing Director, made the appeal on Thursday in Lagos at the 34th General Meeting of Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN).
Olagunju, who was represented by Mr Ezekiel Oseni, the BoI Chief Risk Officer, spoke on the theme: “Internal Audit Function: Today and Tomorrow’’.
He said that for internal auditors to be relevant in the changing world, they should not just identify obstacles in business proposals, but also suggest ways to obtain financing in spite of the obstacles.
The BoI chief executive said that auditors’ suggestions should enable banks to still finance business without violating regulatory requirements and making losses.
“The internal auditor’s role is a very critical one in every set-up, but as it is today, businesses are facing challenges and for any function to be relevant, they have to support the client.
“As it is today, most internal auditors concentrate on acquisition, detecting and investigating frauds.
“When there are business proposals they look for obstacles why it cannot be done.
“They should not just identify obstacles, but also suggest ways that the business proposal can be done despite the challenges,” Olagunju said.
He said that the traditional role of an auditor had become inadequate to meet the needs in an ever-changing and challenged business environment such as Nigeria.
On the issue of fighting cyber crime, he said that auditors had a role to play, so they must be prepared to understand processes and systems identify loopholes and develop control measures against the menace.
He said that the control measures should reduce the vulnerability of the financial sector to infiltration from hackers.
Femi Tairu, a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said that awareness, shared intelligence and security standards were strategies to combat cyber crimes.
David Isiavwe, the Chief Internal Auditor for Union Bank, said that there was a need for “convergence” between banks and communication companies to reduce cyber crime.
“In Nigeria, the cybercriminals are not resting. They exploit every loophole. Every day, we lose money.
“We cannot rest on our oars. We need to contribute to ensure that the environment is safe and sound for businesses to thrive,” Isiavwe said.