The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) last Friday renewed its support for the various economic policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying there is hope for Nigeria.
President of ICAN, Deacon Titus Soetan, who led a delegation of the institute’s executives to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the current initiatives of the Minister were capable of taking the nation out of its current economic woes.
The Minister, in her welcome address said: “As professionals, we are taught to be prudent and to be transparent and also to have a lot of accountability and that, in itself, means we have to deal with things which many people will be evading, but we are not going to evade the truth because we know if we do we are only postponing the evil day.”
“We are working with a mission. That mission is driven by the realisation that this economy has to grow. And to achieve the desired growth, we have to invest and spend our money wisely. To attain our goal, we have to do two things. First is to increase the revenue that is available and secondly, redirect expenditure from wasteful things and from corruption into actually growing the economy. This is why we are implementing initiatives that address these impediments and improve control. “
Speaking on the resolve to focus on capital projects, the Minister disclosed that “So far, we have released over N700 billion in capital. All over the country, you will see projects going on. We are dealing with a lot of arrears and a lot of hidden liabilities; some of them unrecorded.
She continued: “We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our salary bill is already going down; our recurrent expenditure is far more controlled than it was.”
Soetan, in declaring the Institute’s support for the current anti-corruption campaign, blamed the structure that made it possible for a few Nigerians to cart away the hard earned funds meant for everybody.
The ICAN President is of the opinion that everything necessary must be done to curtail this unpatriotic act in our society.
“Let me assure you that our institute is in support of your ministry’s effort and the government‘s efforts to fight corruption. We support the government’s implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS), the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) and the creation of the Efficiency Unit, which you have brought to bear. We support all these measures among others. We believe you are on the right track and they are capable of taking the country out of the doldrums we find ourselves in now.”
He advised the Federal Government to constantly review its policies for effectiveness, saying, “Our view is that these initiatives call for constant evaluation to appraise their effectiveness and reshaping their operations as well.”
As financial advisory is one of our roles, as professional accountants, we are most likely to recommend that sustainable policies including putting idle assets into effective use to generate revenue should be pursued. This challenging economic situation in our country today requires sustainable policies to bring us back on our feet firmly.
There is no doubt that the injection of extra liquidity will stimulate economic activities and lead to productivity. To this end, borrowing on the short time is advisable. We are of the view that the sale of the national assets should be considered as a last option after all alternatives have been considered.”