Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has charged the leadership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to maintain the high professional standard and integrity the accounting body has been known for in Nigeria over the years.
He gave the charge on Thursday when he received a high-powered delegation from ICAN led by its 59th President, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, at Government House in Yenagoa.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who spoke through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said integrity and proficiency constitute the glory of the accounting profession, noting that ICAN should do everything within its powers not to lower the bar of professional competence in the institute.
He said, discipline was not only essential but quite indispensable in the accounting profession, and called on the ICAN national leadership to always ensure that those who violate its professional ethics are made to bear the consequences of their actions to serve as a deterrence to others.
Governor Diri, who noted that the main policy thrust of his administration was education, said government would key into ICAN’s mandatory continuing professional development programmes to groom more chartered accountants from the state and give them a strategic role in the public service.
He promised that the state Government would look into ICAN’s request for payment of the registration fees of members from the state to participate at the 53rd annual national ICAN conference billed to hold in Abuja by October this year.
He said: “We want to first congratulate you, and recognize your role over the years in the development of accountants through your professional training and capacity building programmes.
“As the red tail is the glory of the parrot, likewise integrity and proficiency is the glory of the accountant. But unfortunately over the years, there is a disconcerted effort to lower the trend or standard that is not helping the country.
“So we want to see how you can do a little more to raise your professional supervision and make people take liability and consequences for their mistakes.
“I can assure you that we are doing our very best in terms of giving the accountants, especially the chartered accountants, a priority role in our scheme of financial management.
“We may not have done enough, in terms of accountability, but we are making appreciable process. Our target is to be in forefront when it comes to accountability; giving reason for every expenditure.
“For us a government, our first policy priority is in education, because an unenlightened society is a crude one. That is why we don’t joke with professional educational development, with serous emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Earlier in his presentation, the National President of ICAN, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, applauded the Bayelsa State Government for providing subvention for manpower development of no fewer than 126 accountants in the state in the last three years alone.
Okwuosa, who also gave plaudits for the Governor Douye Diri-led Administration for its impactful infrastructural projects and social programmes so far, solicited government’s support for the take-off of the ICAN hostel project in the state, for which land had already been procured.
The ICAN boss equally pledged to work with the state Government on public finance management to improve the state’s ranking in the accountability and transparency index among the comity of states in the country.