The on-going reforms in the nation’s public finance sector received a boost on Thursday when the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) endorsed the measures being undertaken and passed a vote of confidence in the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, during a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Finance in Abuja
The leader of the delegation, and President of the institute, Mr Olufemi Deru, who commended the efforts of the Minister and her team thus far, said ICAN is solidly behind the Federal Government in its efforts to rid the civil service of grafts and other fraudulent activities.
He lauded the effort of the Minister to achieve cost savings and eliminate ghost workers, saying money recovered from these exercises could be invested for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
He disclosed that in a bid to key into the government’s programme, ICAN is training its members on forensic investigation so as to assist the Federal Government to trace illicit funds in Nigeria and abroad.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Minister restated the commitment of the present administration to plug all loopholes and ensure judicious use of the nation’s resources.
She explained that the Federal Government is committed to reforming the public finance of the country as one of the levers to unlock the nation’s economic prosperity. She stated that the government plans to introduce a risk-based internal audit system and implement adequate controls. She disclosed that efforts are being made to present a bill to the National Assembly so as to pass the proposed internal audit into law.
Mrs. Adeosun also spoke about efforts being made to strengthen the capacity of small and medium enterprises, explaining that the Federal Government is introducing a programme that will mandate big accounting firms to partner with small firms as a condition to be eligible for government business. She stated her belief that the programme would yield significant benefits including the desired knowledge of the local context that small scale accounting firms would bring to bear across the country, as well as the capacity enhancement that the small scale firms would gain from partnering with their more established counterparts.
She stated that the government is making efforts to promote a graduate internship programme to further support capacity building among students and trainees.