Nume Ekeghe
President Muhammadu Buhari has described accountants as the first set of gatekeepers to ensure that transactions are conducted prudently. According to a statement, Buhari made the remark in a message to the opening of the 22nd annual general meeting of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) held in Abuja recently.

The president assured that his administration would continue to drive the diversification of Nigerian economy, confronting the security challenges and dealing decisively with corruption in all aspects of government businesses.
“In all these spheres, the role of accountants cannot be over-emphasised,” Buhari, who was represented by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris said.

He noted that the association’s choice of the theme: “Sustainable Economic Management in a Recession,” was considered timey and all important.
The president said that her administration’s resolve to combat corruption with enhanced transparency and accountability had come to stay.

“To strengthen the fight against corruption, we launched the Whistle Blower Protection Policy and presented as Whistle Protection Bill 2016 to the national assembly in order to ensure and protect Nigerians for supporting this fight. Also, a firm implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since September 2015 has significantly enhanced transparency in the Federal Government’s Public Financial Management System,’’ Buhari said.

He recalled that over the past decades, Nigeria had witnessed a period of boom and prosperity which unfortunately were not harnessed for the nation’s collective economic development.

In the area of agriculture, the president explained that so far, 200,000 small holder famers, cultivating some 233,000 hectares of farmland in 29 states had benefitted from the Agricultural Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“We have revolutionised rice production to allow for nation self-sustenance and have impacted on fertiliser availability which eventually led to a sharp drop in fertiliser price from N13,000 to N5,500 per 50 kg bag,” he said.

In his welcome address, the President of ANAN, Alhaji Shehu Ladan commended the efforts of government in the management of recession through laudable programmes like the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), inauguration of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council to boost the manufacturing sector of the economy through the formulation of sectoral and industrial policies.