By Christian Okwor
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), is 51 years old but its Abuja District just turned 25, having been inaugurated on September 10, 1991.
As the district marked silver jubilee, issues of career enhancement were expected to dominate its programme, but instead the professional body chose to use the period to give back to the community through humanitarian service. District chairman, Mrs. Ifeoma Okpo said:
“We are using this opportunity to tell the public what ICAN stands for; we stand for accuracy and integrity. But more importantly, we are giving back to the society through community work like controlling the traffic in some strategic places here in Abuja; cleaning the environment. Cleanliness they say is next to Godliness.
“We are encouraging and challenging people to know that they should clean their environment. It is not everything that government will do for you. There are some things that government will definitely do, but we want to challenge people that as individuals, wherever they find themselves, they must keep their environment clean. For our members, we’ve done some health talk and walk for accountants to know that they must create time out of their busy schedules to take care of their health.”
Beyond the forgoing community services, there was huge jubilation at the Blind Children’s School, Jabi, Abuja, where Okpo led district members to donate valuable equipment and learning aids, after feting the physically challenged children. Materials donated were one unit of brailing machine, brailing papers and other materials to aid learning and instructions in the school.
Another highlight of the anniversary celebrations was a lecture on the role of an accountant in a receding economy where solutions to the nation’s current economic doldrums were proffered.
To ICAN, only creativity, ingenuity and looking inwardly by diversifying the economy would bring Nigeria out of the woods, even as it also reiterated its commitment to raising highly trained professionals, whose expertise would always contribute to national development.
Aside the economic remedy, the chartered accountants also believe that God holds the key to Nigeria’s economic recovery as well as other issues bedevilling it, hence the call on Nigerians of different faiths to present the nation’s challenges to God believing that the trying period will come to pass.
Okpo said this prompted them to make praying for the nation both in churches and mosques one of the key activities of the anniversary programme:
“Nigeria is not the first nation that is passing through recession. Other nations of the world that we have read over time passed through it and they came out stronger. I believe that Nigeria will not be a different case. Of course, we know that during recession, individuals and the nation need to look inward and see a way to diversify in order to improve the nation’s economy faster and easier than expected.
“But, the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 that ‘if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their lands’. We are encouraging fervent prayers for Muslims and Christians alike.”
Chairman of the anniversary planning committee, Mr. Mike Nnachi-Okpara told Daily Sun that the district has every cause to celebrate having started with only eight members, but now boasts of over 1000 members. He stated that the district’s monthly meetings usually have about 300 members in attendance, while looking forward to a more fulfilling golden jubilee:
“Abuja district and societies on inception was the mother of every other district in Northern Nigeria, but today, most of the states in the region are now districts. You can imagine what it was controlling all the northern states from here.
“Looking forward, we expect many more institutions and establishments to set up chapters; and with that more benefits will accrue to accountants as we contribute our quota to national development.”