The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Tuesday commended the laudable achievements of the Federal Government under the Federal Ministry of Finance in the last three and half years, saying it has blocked leakages and set the tone for improved revenue generation to finance government’s economic development agenda.
ICAN President, Alhaji Razak Adeleke Jaiyeola, who stated this when executive members of the organisation visited the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed in Abuja, solicited the Ministry’s collaboration in organizing in-house training for staff and ICAN members in the Ministry.
According to a statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Paul Abechi, the minister assured ICAN of the readiness of the ministry to collaborate with it.
Ahmed who welcomed ICAN’s recently released Accountability Index, noted that the country was often measured by external index which did not take local peculiarities into consideration and that it will encourage both the federal and state governments to ensure good public governance.
Speaking earlier, the ICAN President particularly noted the giant strides of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, which he said, has led to an all time high revenue generation of the sum of N5.3 trillion in 2018.
While expressing worries over delays in national budget, Alhaji Jaiyeola, commended the implementation of the TSA, pointing out that many of the software that drive the process are not locally sourced.
He called on the federal government to deploy more local content which he said will both preserve “our hard-earned foreign exchange and create more jobs for the citizenry”.
According to him, “Let me seize this auspicious opportunity to warmly commend the laudable achievements recorded by the Federal Ministry of Finance in the last three and half years. The Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Whistle-blower Policy, the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) and the Efficiency Unit, the Collateral Registry under the Central Bank of Nigeria, the laudable reforms in the FIRS, are all initiatives driven by your ministry not only to set a credible governance tone at the top and raise the bar of credibility.”
He said the move of FIRS to recover N23 billion from 45,000 people who had more than N100 million in their accounts in 2018 through substitution of their bank account is highly commendable.
On collaboration, the ICAN President said, “we are willing to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance at organizing in-house training for its staff and mandatory Professional Continuing Education (MCPE) for members of ICAN who work in the Ministry.”
“As you are aware, ICAN released the first result of its Accountability Index during the 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference. This strategic initiative was jointly financed by ICAN and the Internal Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The ICAN-AI is an initiative for improving public sector finance management at the three tiers of government, he said.
“The objectives of the ICAN AI among others include encouraging fiscal responsibility and good public financial management, tackling corruption by encouraging quality professionals in the public sector and providing a holistic, objective and evidenced-based framework for assessing performance of public sector entities, the ICAN boss added”.