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Buhari tasks accountants on corruption, transparency

Buhari tasks accountants on corruption, transparency

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“Let me first say that with regards to fighting corruption, you have a special contribution to make as accountants in this regard.”

Uche Usim, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday tasked accountants in Nigeria to play a pivotal role in the war against corruption by helping the government unravel bad eggs in the system hell bent on shortchanging the country and the citizens.

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Speaking at the 48th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) held in Abuja, President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, said the focus of his administration, right from the outset, has been on fighting corruption, fixing the broken economy and restoring security.

“Let me first say that with regards to fighting corruption, you have a special contribution to make as accountants in this regard.

“Your members serving as accountants and auditors can bring to bear your special skills in ensuring that books and records are properly kept. Working closely with the statutory agencies responsible for fighting corruption, ICAN will no doubt assist government in its effort at fighting this national malaise”, the President noted.

Buhari added that ICAN remains a great institute that has immensely contributed to overall development of Nigeria since it was established over 50 years ago.

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According to him, the theme of the conference – “Securing our Shared Future: A Collective Responsibility” was apt and timely, as it came few months coming to the general elections scheduled to hold early in 2019.

The President said there must be renewed efforts by all leaders of the three-tiers of government to consolidate on past achievements in order to leave enduring legacies behind.

He said: “With regards to the economy, we came in at a very challenging time. We developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which is our blueprint for fixing the economy. We are currently putting in place the right infrastructure so as to diversify the economic base away from oil dependence.

“The ERGP articulates what we have to do to create a better future for our people. It recognises the private sector as the engine of development and commits government to do everything possible to improve the enabling environment.

“But of course, we recognise that there will always be some people left behind. That is why as a government we have introduced the Social Investment Programme under which we are bringing jobs and relief to many of our unemployed youth, the poor, the excluded and the vulnerable in our society”, he explained.
Also speaking at the event, the ICAN President, Rasak Jaiyeola described the annual conference as a crucible where ideas are generated and refined for communication to relevant stakeholders for growth of the accounting profession and the economy.

He said the theme: “Securing our shared future, A collective responsibility” was apt as it hit at the core of national integration and growth.

He called on delegates to contribute immensely in issues meant to the development of the country.

In her remarks, the President of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Rachel Grimes, said the theme of the conference underscores two important points:

“One, accountants have great skills to positively influence the future; and we can’t secure the future alone. We must seek out and work with others who share our commitment to the public interest and a stronger global economy and society”, she said. Grimes further Noted that there was a widely identified trust crisis around the world,  noting that IFAC has stepped in to fill the void. “Broadly, citizens in many countries have lost faith in governing institutions. That’s why Build Trust. Inspire Confidence. is the title of IFAC’s strategic plan for 2019-20. That’s what IFAC, our member organizations and their members do every day.

“The vision for IFAC is that the global accountancy profession is essential for strong, sustainable organizations, financial markets and economies”, she added.

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