By Anayo Ezugwu
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has thanked the federal government for granting it permission to conduct its professional examinations across all the states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in September 2020. Dame Onome Joy Adewuyi, president, ICAN, said the professional body would always support the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in raising awareness among its members.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, Adewuyi said waging and winning a total war against the pandemic was a joint responsibility of all Nigerians. She noted that ICAN has, over the years, worked with governments in realising the national aspiration for the country where meaningful growth and development would be the norm, rather than the exception.
“We are not resting on our oars as we continue to avail the country of our technical and professional expertise as Chartered Accountants. It is noteworthy that ICAN constantly makes input into relevant legislations that would improve social and economic fortunes of the country. Our contributions to the country’s budget system are well acknowledged. Indeed, it is our greatest pleasure that the current administration, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has shown consistent commitment to early passage and implementation of the Appropriation Bill.
“This is what we have advocated for as an Institute for several years. The timeliness of budget and its implementation are critical financial and economic foundation for building a resilient and competitive economy. It is also worth reiterating that ICAN has several initiatives that corroborate the anti-corruption crusade of this administration. The ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN AI) is recognised as a powerful tool for measuring Public Financial Management, PFM, practices across the three tiers of the Nigerian government. We appeal to you Sir to be our advocate for the ICAN AI in order to ensure that we continue to receive maximum cooperation from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in this annual exercise.
“In 2015, we launched a N50 million Whistle-blowers Fund to support our members who may be victimised for exposing any financial misdemeanor in their organisations. It was our great delight when the Federal Government adopted whistleblowing as a policy at the federal level in 2017. We pledge our continued support for all the various initiatives of this administration to reduce corruption significantly in the Nigerian polity. We followed closely the public investigation of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and had compiled and sent our comments and recommendations to your good office in September 2020.
“We had recommended the improvement in Internal Audit Function and staffing of the Commission; more efficient fund management; and monitoring of the projects. Coincidentally, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, IPSASB, the world public sector standard setter, is considering incorporating monitoring in its public sector standards (Exposure Draft 72). Another agency that attracted public attention in the last quarter was the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The Institute had also written, recommending the review of: the enabling Act, the qualification of the Commission Chairman, and training of key/core staff, especially the Internal Audit Unit,” she said.
According to Adewuyi, the institute also made recommendations on methods that can improve the efficacy of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its subsidiaries. She said that ICAN commended the corporation for publishing its annual reports and hopes it will be continuous. “The recommendations included the need for corporate governance and compliance with global best standards in ethical procedures, cost control and downward review of personnel costs, especially for non-productive refineries.
“The Institute’s capacity building programmes are filling the human capital gap in the economy, especially in the area of accounting, finance and other related disciplines. We are producing accountants, who are not just fit to address today’s business challenges, but also focused on the future by equipping our current and future members with the skills required in the future. ICAN has been an advocate for an improved ease-of-doing business and creation of an investors’ friendly environment.
“One way we have achieved this is to ensure that entities in the country adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS, that aids the comparability of financial reports across countries and entities, thereby guiding investors’ decisions. Experts have identified a strong relationship between IFRS adoption, Foreign Direct Investments and Economic growth. We shall continue to encourage our individual and corporate members to adhere strictly to these global standards in the preparation of their financial reports.
“Recently, we identified the gaps in accounting education in the country through an extensive review of the accounting curricula of educational institutions from secondary to tertiary levels. We have submitted our findings to the National Universities Commission, NUC, and would soon engage the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, on a similar issue as well as the authorities of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, and the National Examinations Council, NECO.
“As part of our interventions in accounting and finance education in the country, the Institute has decided to establish the International University of Management, Nigeria. The envisaged University would provide top-notch management courses for aspiring Nigerian citizens. We would be glad if you support this laudable project of ICAN as we continue to draw the attention of all the stakeholders to our earnest desire to get the University licence in no distant future,” she said.
– Nov. 4, 2020 @ 17:32 GMT |