By Steve Agbota
The new code adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), known as Noncompliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR), will enhance the fight against fraud, tax evasion and other forms of corruption in the country.
According to the ICAN President, Isma’ila Muhammadu Zakari, NOCLAR, issued by International Ethics Standard Board for Accountants, is the new section of the code of ethics for professional accountants which ICAN abide with at all times in line with the international Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) code of conduct for members.
Zakari, who stated this at the 60th Induction ceremony of 1,519 new members in Lagos, said that the code plays a unique role in supporting accountancy in the public interest as it addresses issues of rules and regulations that deal with matters such as fraud, corruption and bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, financial product services, environmental profession and public health and safety.
He explained that the code sets out the first of its kind framework to guide professional accountants in what actions to take in the public interest when they become aware of potential illegal act committed by a client or employer.
He added: “It is pertinent to note that the NOCLAR standard applies to all categories of professional accountants including auditors, professional accountant s in public practice, professional accountants in business organizations or other organizations including businesses, government, education and non-profit sector.”
While congratulating the new inductees, he advised them to abide by the rules and regulations of the Institute, adding that ICAN would not condone any professional misconduct on the part of any chartered accountant irrespective of highly or lowly placed in the profession or the society.
“By the end of this induction ceremony, the membership of this institute would rise to 43, 293. I wish to state that today, admission ceremony is the climax of induction ceremony, which started with lectures on various ethical and professional discipline. In addition, to the lecture you received, you are required to regularly imbibe and conform with these rules and rules of professional conduct, which are contained in details in the institute’s handbook.”
From the beginning, with 250 members in 1965, he said the institute has been in the business of training and producing chartered accountants who are highly talented, ethically committed professionally working in every tier of the Nigeria’s economy combining their horizon knowledge and skills to support businesses, profit orgainsation, non-profi, individuals and communities to attain their financial and strategic goals.
Today, he hinted that ICAN members held several positions in Nigeria and around the world as business leaders, public administrators, and decision makers among others.