By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has launched the maiden report of its Accountability Index (AI) — a first-of-its kind framework in Nigeria for improving the process of assessing public finance management and public governance practices across the three tiers of the nation’s public sector.
The AI is designed to ensure that citizens demand and get feedback from public officers on how public funds are spent.
Speaking during the AI launch in Abuja, Wednesday at the ongoing 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference, the ICAN President, Alhaji Rasak Jaiyeola, said the framework was designed to address the declining transparency in public finance management.
The initiative, he said, will improve the quality of governance in the country and tackle corruption in the public sector.
AI is anchored on five pillars, some of which include budgeting issues, management of assets and public debt.
He noted that its introduction would enthrone a lot of improvements in the public accounting system, thus enhancing the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
The ICAN president expressed delight that the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) had already endorsed the Accountability Index thereby giving it international flavour.
Commending ICAN for coming up with the AI initiative, the IFAC President, Ms. Rachel Grimes, who was in Abuja for the launch, said it was the first national index of its kind.
Describing it as Nigeria’s gift to the global community, she stated that the Accountability Index would make citizens demand accountability from public office holders.
“It’s a gift for Nigeria and for the public and the region,” Grimes said.