By Folasade Akpan
Abuja – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has commended the Ministry of Finance for blocking leakages and setting the tone for improved revenue generation to finance government’s economic development agenda.
ICAN President, Mr Razak Jaiyeola, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, when he led executive members of the organisation on a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
According to a statement issued by Mr Paul Abechi, the minister’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Jaiyeola said the ministry had recorded laudable achievements in the last three and half years.
Jaiyeola also said that the giant strides of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), under the present administration led to an all time high revenue generation of the sum of N5.3 trillion in 2018.
He said that the drive of FIRS to recover N23 billion from 45,000 people who had more than N100 million in their accounts in 2018 through substitution of their bank account was also commendable.
He added that the FIRS had also won international awards with respect to its Information Technology initiatives.
“The Treasury Single Account, Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, Whistle-blower Policy, the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) and the Efficiency Unit, the Collateral Registry under the Central Bank of Nigeria, the laudable reforms in the FIRS, are all initiatives driven by your ministry to set a credible governance tone at the top and raise the bar of credibility.”
He, however, said that the organisation was willing to collaborate with the ministry in organising in-house training for its staff and Mandatory Professional Continuing Education (MCPE) for members of ICAN working in the ministry.
“Honourable Minister, as you are aware, ICAN released the first result of its Accountability Index (AI) during the 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference.
“This strategic initiative was jointly financed by ICAN and the Internal Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
“The ICAN-AI is an initiative for improving public sector finance management at the three tiers of government.
“The objectives of the ICAN-AI include encouraging fiscal responsibility and good public financial management and tackling corruption by encouraging quality professionals in the public sector.
“Others are to providing a holistic, objective and evidenced-based framework for assessing performance of public sector entities.”
Responding, Ahmed expressed the ministry’s readiness to collaborate with ICAN and welcomed its recently released Accountability Index.
She added that the country was often measured by external index without consideration to the nation’s local peculiarities.
She, however, said that the index would encourage both the federal and state governments to ensure good public governance. (NAN)