Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has called on auditors to always ensure that the rules and standards of the profession are observed in order to promote sound financial institutions that support and facilitate economic recovery.
He spoke at the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), a sub-committee of the Bankers’ Committee of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 9th Annual Retreat/General Meeting held in Lagos at the weekend.
Ambode, who declared the three-day retreat open, was represented by Lagos State Commissioner of Finance, Akinyemi Ashade. He urged auditors to always uphold the ethics of the profession which must guide their conducts in the performance of their professional responsibilities.
He said the roles performed as auditors are no doubt critical to the achievement of the overall goal of charting a new and sustainable direction for the economy.
Speaking on the theme: Overcoming the challenges of economic recession, he said the retreat, coming shortly after the release of the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) by the Federal Government would provide participants insights into the plans and strategies being adopted to ensure that the economy regains its strength.
“The factors responsible for the current economic challenges are well known to us, as they have been analysed and explained from diverse perspectives. These factors can be narrowed down to gross mismanagement of resources and failure to do what is right in terms of ensuring strict compliance to rules and best practices,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “This situation provided opportunity for people to take undue advantage of the system which gradually and systematically resulted in the current economic recession. While the drastic fall in oil prices could be rightly identified as the immediate factor which triggered the chain of immediate events that led us into recession, the truth however remains that the shock would have been minimal if the earned or accumulated funds had been judiciously utilized to lay a foundation for sustainable economic growth”.
Ambode called on the auditors to support reinvestment in the economy and turning current challenges to opportunities. “This can only be achieved if we learn from past mistakes and resolve to do things differently. We must create and expand opportunities, taking full advantage of our potentials, particularly in agriculture and non-oil sectors of the economy including tourism, entertainment among others. We must also create the right environment through the instrument of policies and incentives for business to thrive and also unlock the creative abilities of our youths in all sectors of the economy,” he stated.
He said that government has in the past 22 months, committed to achieving its goal of building a Lagos economy that works for all and globally competitive. “The massive investments we have continued to make in all sectors of the economy especially the physical and social infrastructure is driven by the recognition of the strategic importance of the Lagos economy in facilitating the nation’s economic recovery process,” he said.