By Elizabeth Christopher
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Tuesday commended the laudable achievements of the Federal Government under the Federal Ministry of Finance in the last three and half years, saying it has blocked leakages and set the tone for improved revenue generation to finance government’s economic development agenda.
The 54th President of ICAN, Alhaji Razak Adeleke Jaiyeola, stated this when he led executive members of the organisation on a courtesy call to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed in Abuja, seeking to collaborate with the Ministry to organise an in-house training for staff and its ICAN members in the Ministry.
The Minister of Finance, in a statement signed by her Special Adviser on Media and Communications, expressed readiness of the ministry to collaborate with ICAN and welcome its recently released Accountability Index.
Mrs Shamsina noted that the country was often measured by external index which doesn’t take local peculiarities into consideration to encourage both the federal and state governments to ensure good public governance.
The ICAN President particularly noted the giant strides of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration paved way for an all time high revenue generation of the sum of N5.3 trillion in 2018.
Deploy more local contents
While expressing worries over delays in National budget, Alhaji Jaiyeola, commended the implementation of the TSA, noting that many of the softwares that drove the process were not locally sourced, and called on the Nigerian government to deploy more local contents to preserve the foreign exchange and create more jobs for the citizenry.
“Let me seize this auspicious opportunity to warmly commend the laudable achievements recorded by the Federal Ministry of Finance in the last three and half years. The Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Whistle-blower Policy, the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) and the Efficiency Unit, the Collateral Registry under the Central Bank of Nigeria, the laudable reforms in the FIRS, are all initiatives driven by your ministry not only to set a credible governance tone at the top and raise the bar of credibility,” he said.
He said, the drive of FIRS to recover N23 billion from 45,000 people who had more than N100 million in their accounts in 2018 through substitution of their bank account is highly commendable. The service has also won international awards with respect to its IT initiatives.
On collaborating with the Ministry, the ICAN President, said, “we are willing to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance at organizing in-house training for its staff and mandatory Professional Continuing Education (MCPE) for members of ICAN who work in the Ministry.”
“Honourable Minister, as you are aware, ICAN released the first result of its Accountability Index, AI during the 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference. This strategic initiative was jointly financed by ICAN and the Internal Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The ICAN-AI is an initiative for improving public sector finance management at the three tiers of government,” he said.
He adds that the objectives of the ICAN AI include encouraging fiscal responsibility and good public financial management, tackling corruption by encouraging quality professionals in the public sector and providing a holistic, objective and evidence-based framework for assessing performance of public sector entities.