The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has recommended that the government should adopt a three-way approach – education, prevention and sanctions, in the fight against corruption.
The institute made the recommendations in a communiqué at the end of its 49th Annual Accountants’ Conference tagged, “Building Nigeria for Sustainable Growth and Development”, made available to newsmen yesterday.
It noted that as the economy is being diversified away from oil and gas, it is important that corruption is reduced to the barest minimum to ensure growth in a sustainable manner.
The recommendations focused on six pillars: Anti-Corruption Drive; Public Accountability; Infrastructure; Insecurity; FIRS Power of Substitution and Disruptive Innovations.
The communiqué stated: “Government institutions are accountable to the people and should use their resources judiciously and not mismanage them. Transparent leadership and governance will allow citizens to identify indicators of under-performance on the part of political leadership and exert well-targeted pressure to put them back on track.”
ICAN further recommended huge investment in power lines and substations through the rehabilitation of abandoned equipment; dealing with under-performing contracts; reconductoring of 132KV lines; vigorous pursuit of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative on hydro and other sources of power; accessing and re-assessing donor-funded programmes and their management; and in general adopt a disciplined application of market rules.
ICAN advised the government to create employment opportunities as a means of curbing insurgency and to develop sustainable strategies to manage the impact of climate change in the states and another part of the nation facing similar problems.
Condemning tax evasion, ICAN acknowledged the powers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to recover taxes payable but advised FIRS to follow due process and respect the rights of taxpayers in its strategic drive at increasing revenue.