Accountability index‘ll enhance public finance mgt—ICAN

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By Provdence Emmanuel

LAGOS—The introduction of accountability index would further enhance public sector financial management, said Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN.

Also, the index would be measuring the accountability standards and quality of public sector accountability in governance.

President of ICAN, Mallam Ismaila Zakari, said these at the occasion of a media briefing where he presented a communiqué from the 47th Annual Accountants’ Conference of ICAN, with the theme: “Nigeria First: Accountancy, Nation Building and the Future.”

Zakari said: “We are not presenting the accountability index to government, we didn’t do it for the government, we did it for Nigeria. We would be measuring the accountability standards, the quality of public sector accountability in governance with the index.

“What we are doing with the index is that we are going to measure the performance of governance, both at the federal, state and local government on accountability.”

ICAN is going to be measuring who is complying with the law guiding accountability right, using the index. The index would begin to get government to play their role in terms of accountability.

“We are doing it for the public, we would release the result of rating every year and that is going to be on accountability and governance because some of the multilateral agencies we plan to work with would look at index ranking annually and decide which state to deal with. ICAN is doing this to enhance public sector financial management and accountability and also to join in the fight against corruption.

Some of the recommendations contained in the communiqué found that in implementing the ICAN accountability index, there should be more focus on states and local governments, use of professionals outside government and more attention paid to information that is readily available in the public domain as doing so will be cost effective, more credible and preserve the integrity of the process.

The communiqué stated: “The introduction of the ICAN Accountability Index, an Accountability and governance performance measurement and rating programme is a welcome development as lack of accountability in governance constitutes a hindrance to development, promotes waste of public resources, short-changes the citizens and is a fertile ground for fostering corruption.”

The communiqué further recommends that Nigerians must reawaken their patriotic zeal to place the interest of the nation first above self, rediscover their civic responsibilities as citizens and commit themselves to the ideals of the constitution of Nigeria; the accountancy profession must align with the aspirations of young people and consciously attract their best and brightest because in the competencies of young accountants and their vibrancy lies the future of the profession; that government should urgently review the curricula of tertiary institutions in Nigeria to ensure that they produce graduates with the requisite skills and competencies required by employers of labour; among others.

 

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