By James Emejo in Abuja
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Thursday said it is working with the federal government to address deficiencies in public sector accounting in the country.
Speaking at a forum with finance and human resource directors in Abuja, themed: “Driving Collaboration to Develop Finance Capacities in the Public Sector,” the Head, ACCA Nigeria, Mr. Tom Isibor, stressed the need for professional accountants to take the lead in the ongoing reforms being carried out by government to reposition the practice towards greater efficiency.
This came as the Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Ibrahim Arabi said that the move by ACCA to tackle accounting gaps in the public sector would further strengthen the public financial management reforms.
Isibor, nevertheless, noted that professional accountants needed to drive financial management reforms in the public sector as it would enable the government to institutionalise fiscal discipline, transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public finances.
He said: “Our strategy in ACCA is to develop partnerships and we work with our key partners and what we want to achieve from this meeting is to understand what are the gaps in the public sector and how we can work together to address those gaps.
“Many of the participants at this event have acknowledged that we have a capacity gap and we need to close this. It might be tough but we believe it is not insurmountable and it is from knowing where the gaps are that we can be able to resolve them.”
Also, Arabi said the agency had developed a document called the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms which seeks to position the Nigeria public sector among the first 20 economies in the world by 2025.
He said: “But going by the modern trend in governance, it is not possible for government alone to drive this programme.
“So the coming in of organisation like ACCA to collaborate with government in improving the quality of service delivery will lead to the full actualisation of the aspirations of our national strategy on public sector reforms.”
He said the BPSR would work with ACCA to further strengthen the reforms in the public sector particularly in the area of ethics and professionalism.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Auditor-General for the Federation (AUGF), Mr. Anthony Ayine, assured the participants that his office would collaborate with ACCA to strengthen public sector audit as this was vital to enable accountants to regain trust due to the poor perception from the public about the tendency of members of the profession to commit fraud.
ACCA is a global body for professional accountants with 428,000 trainees and 162,000 qualified members in 170 countries and basically assists employers grow their businesses by enabling them to develop the finance leaders of today and tomorrow in all business sectors through its network of 80 offices and centres across the world.