Indigenous auditors are concerned about the rising level of control enjoyed by KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Accenture, Deloitte and Ernst & Young commonly referred to as the “big five” professional services firms.
The Chairman, SIAO, an indigenous auditing firm, Robert Ade-Odiachi said the “big five” have corned top jobs from government parastatals, banks and other leading firms in the country.
He said the relevance being given to the firms runs contrary to the Local Content Act, 2010, which stipulated that key jobs from government be done by local auditors, in partnership with international operators.
Ade-Odiachi said the “big five” are parading themselves as indigenous Nigerian firms when what they are at best are franchises of foreign professional firms. “What we are witnessing presently, in the business sector of this country, is a blatant disregard for the provisions of the Nigerian Local Content Act, 2010. The “big five” professional services firms are parading themselves as indigenous Nigerian firms when what they are at best are franchises of foreign professional firms, he said.
Continuing, he said the firms service all banks, most if not all most public quoted companies and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), multinationals and other public interest companies to the utmost total exclusion of indigenous formed and owned firm.
Managing Partner, SIAO, Itua Ighodalo said the “big five” have managed to do this because of the negligence and in very many cases, the support of government agencies. He said the local Content Act, 2010 is clear in its provisions and intent.
He said the purpose of enacting the Local Content Act is to develop local skills, facilitate technology transfer, ensure optimum use of local manpower and local manufacturing in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector.
Ighodalo argued that even if foreign companies are registered in Nigeria, and can qualify as Nigerian firms, they are most certainly not indigenous or wholly Nigerian.
“It is needless to state that the Local Content Act was enacted to cater for and provide protection for Nigerian indigenous companies that are in competition with foreign companies and foreign companies with subsidiaries in Nigeria,” he said