As Nigeria grapples with endemic and multi-faceted corruption, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) FCT 1 has challenged members and all certified Accountants to brace up in assisting the government curb fraud and financial crimes in MDAs.
The Association further reiterated its commitment to ensure that members are up-to-speed with technological innovations in the fight against corruption, warning members against breaching the Accounting professional ethics.
Addressing participants at the 2020 International Accountants’ Day in Abuja on Tuesday, the chairman ANAN FCT 1 branch, Wahab Shina Omoniyi expressed regret that despite how much resources the country is blessed with, it is still confronted with indices of under-development across all sectors, attributing Nigeria’s backwardness to corruption.
Describing the theme for this year’s event, ‘Anti-Corruption Fight in Nigeria: The Role of Accountants in Filling the Gaps’ as germane and timely, Omoniyi emphasised that the branch has as its cardinal objective taking the message of anti-corruption to young people by instilling the right attitude in them.
“We all clamour for good governance and yearn for a better society mostly through our tongues. But what are we doing in our little corner to walk the talk. I believe our actions will speak louder than our voices.
“The fight against corruption should be seen as collective efforts of all stakeholders, besides the fact that there is hardly any corrupt practice without the connivance of an Accountant; we are focusing the crusade on younger generation to inculcate the morale in them.
“Today, we have in our midst, students from both secondary and tertiary institutions, whom we are targeting as critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption. We want them to get the message at this early stage to inspire them” he said.
In his comment, a guest speaker at the event and Board member, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Hon. Abdullahi Maikano Saidu while expressing regret that despite the robust financial policy and guidelines such as IPPIS, BVN, TSA and others introduced by the present administration with a view to curb corruption, Accountants have failed in their complimentary roles.
He further added that the issue of corruption has further led to loss of confidence in Nigeria by its citizens at home and in Diaspora, insisting that activities of fraudsters, corrupt public officials and misgovernance by leaders call for worry.
He said, “On the international scene, Nigeria has been blacklisted as a state in which integrity and transparency are alien and where no transaction occurs without greasing palms.
“The leading professional Accounting bodies in Nigeria like ANAN and ICAN have a lot to do in the fight against corruption. It is a well-known fact that there is no successful financial fraud in both public and private sector without the cooperation and involvement of Professional Accountants.
“Emphasis should be on Forensic Audit rather than the traditional audit procedures. Accounting Departments in the various tertiary institutions should redirect their focus on Forensic Accounting.
“Federal and States Auditor-Generals should as a matter of utmost concern engage the services of Forensic Experts.”
Another senior Accounting professional and Chairman Anti-corruption Compliance Committee of ANAN, Rakiya Opemi Yusuf in her remarks noted that fraud and corruption does not only involve finances.
She explained that any deliberate attempt to deviate from laid-down rules and principles in corporate business organisations or human setting can be said to be an act of corruption.
She charged members to abide by ethics of Accounting profession which she said among other things include integrity, objectivity, confidentiality and adherence to rules.
Deserving professionals were also recognised at the event.