CEM REPORT | The 57th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mrs Comfort Olu Eyitayo has enumerated several ways the Institute is contributing to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Mrs Eyitayo spoke to Continental Economy Magazine Thursday at the Inauguration of the Lekki and District Society of ICAN and the Investiture of the Pioneer Chairman and swearing in of the Executives of the young District.
The ICAN President said the Institute has several processes and tools which keep their members in check and obligate them to expose wrong practices be it by their clients or employee. She mentioned the Whistleblowing Fund, Accountability Index, the Non-compliance with Rules and Regulation (NOCLAR) and others as those efforts the Institute is making to help stem corruption.
“My Institute is doing quite a lot, We have established a N50 million whistle bowing fund to ensure that we give our members confidence to go out there and do what they have been trained to do without fear or favor. We understand that fear of losing livelihood can make it difficult for members to perform their roll competently. This is therefore an assurance fund for our members in case they lose their livelihood in the cause of doing their job rightly”; Mrs Eyitayo said.
She said the Institute has developed and deployed a tool called Accountability Index meant to assess the level of fulfillment of government part of the social contract between them and the people. The tool assesses how far the government has fulfilled their promises to the people including implementation of the annual budget
“We have also deployed a tool that we call Accountability Index which has been adjudged a veritable tool to keep all three tiers of government in check. There are certain things that constitute social contract with the people, these are the promises government at all levels have made. We deploy our tool to assess how well the government have fulfilled their promises. We have released two reports already and we will release the third and fourth very soon.
“This tool is meant to create consciousness which is creating already on the part of the government to ensure that they implement their budget transparently. Information about the budget with regard to its implementation should be made available in the public domain for people to assess level of implementation”; Eyitayo said.
As part of their internal control, ICAN President said the NOCLAR and their strong disciplinary procedures have gone a long way to check wrong practices among their members
She said; “Also, we make sure we make our members sign the Non-compliance with Rules and Regulation (NOCLAR). With this, our members are bound to expose any wrong doing by clients or employer and they have the confidence that we have their back. When you know that your Auditor or Accountant will expose your wrong practices, you will be cautioned. This is helping too well to fight corruption.
“Internally, we have a strong disciplinary procedure. From the day of induction, we make our members know that if they are found wanting, their certificate can be withdrawn. They know how much they suffered for their certificate. This also go a long way in putting our members in check and put them on their toes for integrity.
“When you put all these together, you find out that ICAN is doing much in assisting the government in fight corruption.”
Mrs Eyitayo equally spoke about Nigerian debt. To her, issue of debt cannot be cast on one place. As government, borrowing on itself is bad thing. What matters is the reason for borrowing and the utilization of the borrowed funds.
She said “On the issue of Nigerian Debt, it is not what you can just cast on one position. A lot has been said about it; the need of it and the appropriateness of it. We professionals do not see debt as a bad thing. Even in business, sometimes, you need to borrow funds to inject into the business. The same applies to the nation. If there are good programs or projects that the government lack funds to finance momentarily, the government must borrow
“It is what the borrowed funds is used for and the outcome of the financing with borrowed money that is the concern. Did you use the funds for the reason it was borrowed? How efficient did you use the borrowed money? This is where we can stand.
“If you borrow money for recurrent expenditure, you know that money is going down the drain.”