By Steve Agbota
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on the Federal Government through President Muhammadu Buhari to make adequate provisions for the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Accrual Basis in the 2018 budget.
Speaking at ICAN’s Economic Discourse Series, with the theme: “2018 FGN Budget and Beyond,” held in Lagos, the Institute’s President, Isma’ila Muhammadu Zakari, said that ICAN considered IPSAS an essential component that should not be ignored in the budget implementation process in order to put in place an enhanced public finance management system.
This, according to him, would facilitate the economic consolidation envisaged in 2018 Federal Government budget proposals. He added that if the National Assembly can pass the 2018 Appropriation Bill and get it signed into law by December 31, 2017, the Nigerian economy would be the better for it.
While congratulating President Buhari for the timely articulation and preparation of the 2018 budget proposals and its transmission to the National Assembly, he said it would be a great and laudable achievement if the 2018 Appropriation Act will commence operation on January 1, 2018.
He, therefore, commended the leadership of the National Assembly for its decisive resolve to expedite action on the consideration of the budget proposals.
He added: “I dare say, the Nigerian people’s perception of the National Assembly’s performance and its approval rating will be improved. If Nigeria is to ever catch up with other progressive nations and become a competitive global player, ICAN is of the strong opinion that there is a need for increased ‘speed’ in the formulation and execution of economic management policies and strategies in all the three tiers of government.”
He hinted that the world was changing and faster than ever, adding that global connectivity, smart machines, new media and the evolution of governance models are just some of the drivers reshaping the global economy, unfortunately leaving Nigeria far behind in terms of economic development and global competitiveness.
He also noted that, “given our pervasive influence, ICAN is committed to upholding public interest as the trusted partner of governments, businesses, and society in a complex and challenging economic climate.
“There’s no doubt that today there are still monumental challenges with economic governance in Nigeria. Although the economy has now technically come out of recession, there are still numerous challenges such as very high unemployment, foreign direct investment and investor confidence is at a low ebb and there’s overwhelming discontent among the citizenry leading to a serious situation of insecurity in the country.”
He maintained that, “as professional accountants, we are always expected and relied upon to play a critical and strategic role in bringing the much-needed stability to business and society.
It is therefore not surprising that there are very high expectations by businesses, employers, clients, regulators, other enlightened stakeholders and even ordinary, ‘less informed’ Nigerian citizens, on ICAN and all chartered accountants to contribute our knowledge and skills not only in getting the Nigerian economy out of the woods, but in contributing to its sustainable growth and development.”