Application of Forensic Skills as a Tool for Fraud Prevention and Detection in Public Sector in Nigeria

  • Samson Adebolu ADEGBITE


The problem of fraud is of a global concern and the rate at which it is perpetuated in Nigerian public universities is more worrisome. This study adopted a survey research design. The sample chosen from the population was 500 made up of 450 members of staff of 15 public universities in South-West, Nigeria and 50 members of staff of EFCC, ICPC and the Police. The sample was purposefully chosen. Validated structured questionnaire was the main research instrument. Reliability of the instrument was assessed through a pilot study of 50 respondents. The Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of the constructs was 0.891 which is greater than the globally accepted standard of 0.70. The response rate for instrument administered was 92.4%. Both descriptive and inferential (multiple regression) statistics were used to analyse the data. The study revealed an overall significant relationship between the application of forensic accounting skills and fraud prevention and detection in public universities in South-West, Nigeria (β= .427, t (462) = 10.651, p=.000). The study concluded that forensic skills significantly influenced fraud prevention and detection in public universities in South-West, Nigeria. The study recommends that forensic accounting should be explored positively to prevent and detect fraud in public universities and other public sector organizations in South-West, Nigeria and by extension the entire country. The study further recommends that by way of policy implementation by the government, forensic accounting should be mandatory in public universities.Keywords: Forensic skills, Forensic accounting, Fraud prevention and detection, Reliability instrument, South West Nigeria