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IFRS Enforcement: ICAN Warns NAICOM, Other Regulators against Rigidity

23 Jan 2013

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President of the institute, Mr. Doyin Owolabi,

Nnamdi Duru
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has warned the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other regulatory bodies to tread softly on the enforcement of compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The professional body advised that enforcement of IFRS compliance should take into consideration the fact that the standards are still evolving all over the world and that it should grow in such a way that the country’s future with the standards would not jeopardised.

The President of the institute, Mr. Doyin Owolabi, gave this warning when he lead a high level delegation from the institute on a visit to Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc head office in Lagos recently.

He observed that the new standards were highly desirable and it is the trend all over that world that all businesses adopt the uniform financial reporting standards for more disclosures and to make it easier to compare the performance of companies and industries in different parts of the world.

According to him, in as much as the Federal Government has rolled out a compliance road map for operators in the Nigerian economy, NAICOM and other regulatory bodies should be mindful of the fact that the standards are still evolving across the globe and as such they should not be too rigid with the enforcement of compliance.

“In as much as we encourage the National Insurance Commission to ensure that industry complies with IFRS, it should thread cautiously. A lot of us here have been to IFRS training programmes all over the world, and even in Europe and Far East, what we have noticed is that IFRS is still evolving, the treatment you gave to a particular item yesterday, and you may not do the same today.

“So I was advising NAICOM that it should not over reach IFRS to the extent that all we are saying is comply, comply and comply not being mindful of the various changes that take place on daily basis all over the world,” he warned.

“There is a roadmap for IFRS compliance, but we still believe that all the regulatory authorities, NAICOM, Financial Reporting Council, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and all the others must grow Nigeria’s compliance with IFRS,” the ICAN President added.

He also described the Mutual group as a company that came to challenge the status quo in the insurance industry and commended the board and management of the company for their ingenuity which has shot the company to the top in the very short time it has been in business.

“We saw Mutual Benefits Assurance as another company that came actually to challenge the status quo in the industry... You have proved to the whole world that Mutual Benefits Assurance can do in the Nigerian economy what insurance does in other economies i.e. controlling substantially, sensitive sectors in the economy. So we want to encourage you because you are now a leader in spite of your young age, to sustain this trend,” Owolabi advised.

The Mutual group has evolved into a conglomerate of value adding companies and prides itself as a leader in the Nigerian insurance industry.  It is boasts of a strong capital base and a team of highly professional board with access to the international insurance market.

The group has subsidiaries in the life and non-life arms of the insurance market in Nigeria, an insurance company in Liberia and a micro-finance bank and an asset management firm in Nigeria. It also has very strong presence in the oil and gas, property and transportation sectors among others.

Established in 1965, ICAN prides itself as having produced world-class professionals, made remarkable contributions to the nation’s development through strict maintenance of high standards and regulation of the accountancy profession.

It also renders excellent services to various parts of the country through its 47 districts across the states of the federation, United Kingdom and America in line with provisions of the International Federation of Accountants (IFACs) Statement of Membership Obligations (SMO).

Tags: Nigeria, Business, Featured, ICAN, IFACs, Doyin Owolab

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