The ongoing reforms in the nation’s public finance sector received a boost last Thursday when the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) endorsed measures being undertaken and passed a vote of confidence in the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, during a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Finance in Abuja.
The leader of the delegation, and President of the institute, Otunba Olufemi Deru, who commended the efforts of the Minister and her team thus far, said ICAN was solidly behind the Federal Government in its efforts to rid the civil service of grafts and other fraudulent activities.
He lauded the effort of the Minister to achieve cost saving and eliminate ghost workers, saying money recovered from these exercises could be invested for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
He disclosed that in a bid to key into the government’s programme, ICAN is training its members on forensic investigation so as to assist the Federal Government to trace illicit funds in Nigeria and abroad.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Minister restated the commitment of the present administration to plug all loopholes and ensure judicious use of the nation’s resources.
She explained that the Federal Government was committed to reforming the public finance of the country as one of the levers to unlock the nation’s economic prosperity. She stated that the government plans to introduce a risk-based internal audit system and implement adequate controls. She disclosed that efforts are being made to present a bill to the National Assembly so as to pass the proposed internal audit into law.
Mrs. Adeosun also spoke on efforts being made to strengthen the capacity of small and medium enterprises, explaining that the Federal Government is introducing a programme that will mandate big accounting firms to partner small firms as a condition to be eligible for government business. She stated her belief that the programme would yield significant benefits including the desired knowledge of the local content that small scale accounting firms would bring to bear across the country, as well as the capacity enhancement that the small scale firms would gain from partnering with their more established counterparts.
She stated that the government is making efforts to promote a graduate internship programme to further support capacity building among students and trainees.
The ICAN President solicited the support of the Minister in the hiring of chartered accountants for the Ministry of Finance, saying this will aid the process of capacity building.
He also enjoined the government to intensify efforts on the promotion of a strong manufacturing sector in order to effectively tackle unemployment and underdevelopment, explaining that the government needs to stimulate a private sector-led economy and fight corruption.