The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has commended the federal government’s anti corruption campaign while calling on government to further deepen efforts in the regard in order that the gains so far recorded will not be reversed.
The institute has, also, called on government to set up special courts to handle anti corruption cases in order that the case are tried expeditiously even as he stated that all stakeholders must continually raise awareness on the need to raise public awareness on the need to articulate the gravity of corruption and the depth of its consequences on growth and development.
The Institute’s President, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola made the call during a media briefing following the induction ceremony of new accounting technicians in Lagos, pledging the institute’s support for the government’s anti-corruption fight.
Jaiyeola described corruption as the foundation and core of anything bad, stressing that it “is beyond being a moral deficiency. That is why at ICAN, we continue to lend our support and voice to the laudable disposition of the current government at ensuring that the country is rescued from the grip of corruption.
“We fancy that corruption is an insidious drag to achieving national objectives and aspirations. Hence, all hands must be on deck at stamping it out of our polity. The consequences of remaining passive on issues of corruption and other financial misdemeanor can be grave not only for the present generation but succeeding ones.
“That is why we must all remain United against Corruption as the theme of this year’s Anti-Corruption Day clearly spelt out. While we acknowledge the various giant strides that this administration has made on anti-corruption, these achievements can further be deepened to create a society where corruption would be an exception rather than the norm.”
Jaiyeola also urged government “to establish special courts that would deal with cases of corruption in a speedy manner. Delay in adjudicating on corruption cases could serve as an impetus for perpetrators to continue in the act. The country needs a judicial system that would be strong to serve as deterrent against corrupt tendencies.
“The Acts establishing the different agencies saddled with the task of fighting corruption should be revisited and further strengthened to grant them total autonomy from any seating government. This would forestall political interferences in the activities of the agencies.
“Mandate all political office holders or aspirants to declare their assets before and after tenure of office. The Bureau of Public Enterprises should be independent and equipped with necessary facilities to discharge their mandate adequately.
Reiterating the institute’s in-built anti-corruption mechanism, Jaiyeola said the ICAN established in 2001 a Faculty on Audit, Investigations and Forensic Accounting, adding that since then the Institute has produced several certified forensic accounting and audit specialists who work in different agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
“These products of the Institute conscientiously work with other experts to unravel issues of fraud in the Nigerian system. The accounting profession is a sensitive one in the economy that ICAN frowns at any attempt by its members or any other individuals to lower the ethics and standards of the profession. According to a study by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), it has been proven that professionalized accountancy populations are better positioned to fight corruption.
“It is noteworthy that since 2015, ICAN launched a N50 million Whistle-Blower’s Fund to protect and compensate its members who report any form of financial misdemeanor in the country. We were therefore elated when the Nigerian Senate passed the Whistle-Blower Protection Bill of the Federal Government in June 2017.”