Chief audit executives in Nigerian banking industry have been charged to re-strategise in order to address emerging risks occasioned by the Covid-19 crisis. The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, made the call during the 47th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) hosted virtually by the lender at the weekend.
With the theme “Elevating Internal Audit’s Role in the Face of Emerging Risks and Opportunities” the meeting held virtually and was hosted by Heritage Bank at the weekend.
Sekibo, who was represented by Heritage Bank’s Executive Director, Jude Monye, stressed the importance of internal auditors lending the necessary support in exploiting and maximising opportunities without impairing their independence.
He noted that internal auditors would have noticed that their modus operandi had become outdated given the rapid changing developments triggered by the pandemic which have upended organisations in every sector of the economy banking inclusive.
According to him, this is the most auspicious time for chief audit executives to rethink how they perform various aspects of their audit assignments.
Sekibo suggested that auditors must “become versed in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, fraud management, regulatory pronouncements, forensics etc and having equipped himself, present balanced, objective audit reports to executive management while striking the right balance between the assurance and consulting responsibilities.”
He further stated: “Embracing new processes and tools to modernize and maximize the audit function helps not only with the perception of internal audit’s value, but also the reality of its contributions. Opportunities to evaluate include virtual auditing, electronic workflow management, and distance teambuilding and development.”