Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and contribute towards the enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
On the 27th day of May, 2015, the audit report on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) carried out by audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was made public. However, to the utter shock and disappointment of Nigerians, the report was nothing but a sham which in itself admitted its unreliability due to its low quality and unprofessional conducts in the preparation of the report, as admitted by the audit firm.
In view of this ridiculous turn of events, we sent a petition dated the 5th day of May, 2015 to the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria via its Auditing Practice Directorate which is charged with the responsibility of regulating audit firms in Nigeria to do a thorough investigation into the activities of PwC culminating in the final audit report. However receipt of the said petition was never acknowledged.
Subsequently, by a letter dated 11th day of June, 2015 based on the Freedom of Information Act 2011, CSNAC filed an FoI request to FRCN to furnish us with an update on the investigation and also to notify it of failure to acknowledge earlier petition on the subject matter, as at the time of the FoI request. Up till this moment, the council has neither acknowledged the said letter nor complied with the FOI Act 2011.
It is our strong conviction that the FOI Act 2011 as a federal legislation having been constitutionally passed by the National Assembly is a valid law which no government agency must disobey. It is shameful that a council established by the Federal Government, with such critical responsibility, will choose to flout such a law and render it ineffective by its actions and inactions.
Mr. President, it is the failure of the Financial Reporting Council to monitor and sanction auditing firms that has resulted in compromising auditing regulations and standards by audit firms in their operations and ultimately, culminating in collapse of businesses, industries and bankruptcy. The Financial Reporting Council Act 2011, imposes a duty on the council Section 11, which states the objectives of the Council at paragraph (d) as “it will ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports and corporate disclosures pursuant to the various laws and regulations currently in existence”.
Mr. President, your promise to encourage government agencies to comply with FoI Act, as contained in your ‘Covenant with Nigerians’ will remain a mirage if certain elements are retained in public offices as head of government institutions. CSNACis therefore, by this petition, demanding the immediate removal of the Director of the FRCN from office for dereliction of duty, incompetence, blatant failure to comply with the provisions of the FOI Act 2011 and, as a necessary step towards sanitizing the audit community and secure Nigerians’ investments.
We shall look forward to your urgent action on this demand.