By Henry Uche, Lagos
Following the controversial sections in the Audit Regulations 2020 as it affects companies’ mode of financial operations in Nigeria among other issues, the former Acting Executive Secretary/CEO of the Financial Regulations Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr Iheanyi Anyahara, has promised to fix every grey area in the regulation.
Speaking on the topic “Audit Regulations 2020: Addressing Stakeholders’ Concerns On The Mandatory Registration Of Audit Committee Members With FRCN And Sanctions”, put together by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) in a webinar session, Anyahara said the regulation is putting in place plans for financial literacy for all stakeholders to be fully informed for sound decisions and planning.
Acccording to him, FRCN is not an oppressive Body Corporate, but one whose mandate is to ensure that corporate bodies complies with the provisions of the council, and the council would do everything in line with the law to carry every stakeholder along but must enforce sanctions when and where neccssary.
‘Audit Regulation is an enabler for re- establishing the much -needed trust in financial report. There is therefore the clarion call for strict compliance with the regulation by all concerned. This will engender the need for re- evaluation of remuneration, structure, board level experience, risk management, training, sustainability, among others,’ he said.
According to him, FRCN would not hesitate to penalise or sanction any body (corporate) that violates the provisions of the council. He pledged the council’s commitment to ensure transparency, responsibility, accountability, fairness without fear or favor of anyone.
He said the council welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions as way forward to ensure credible financial reporting to attract investors when the trust and confidence of shareholders are restored.
‘With the pandemic, the council has provided increased transperency for investors and shareholders whose demand are very high, howbeit, assurance by independent qualified professionals to enhance the credibility of corporate financial reporting would need to be pursued vigorously by all affected professionals.’
He added that the council would provide a window to address the issue of qualifications for members of the audit committee, saying that ‘belonging to a professional financial body is not the only criteria for the committee membership, but an evidence of financial literacy and evidence of been elected into the committee, among others.
‘We seek for collaboration with all stakeholders for seamless implementation of the regulation. We shall commence quality control review in 2022 in line with the transition programme. We plan to commence training on the implementation of the audit committee by next quarter for audit firms, audit committee members, shareholders, board members, Internal auditors and assurance practitioners, our engagement so far are: big four audit firms, shareholders’ association, small and medium practice, among others, we are open to work together to build capacity,’ he stated.