ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning Report) – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has been called upon to support the anti-corruption fight of the Federal Government by creating systems that promote transparency and make it difficult for diversion of resources.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma (Senator) who made the call in Abuja recently when the executive of the Institute visited him said that the fight against corruption must be a collective one, indicating that professional bodies like ICAN have a critical role to play if the fight is to be successful.
He explained that corruption has been the bane of development in the country which is why the Buhari Administration is focused on tackling it so as to save resources for human and infrastructure development. Adding, to build a strong and prosperous nation, stakeholders have to work together with a strong resolve and never give up, notwithstanding any frustration.
Udo Udoma stressed that the present government has a philosophy of continuing with good projects, no matter which administration conceived or started it. He implied that the government also has a responsibility in the process to protect investors by taking their interest into consideration, even when reviewing policies and actions taken by previous administrations.
The government, he said does not believe in jettisoning projects because it was initiated by a previous government, rather it builds on the good ones and reviews others in line with the policy direction of the administration.
“We have to build on what is good, and tweak what is not so good until we arrive at what is desirable. You do not make investors suffer simply because a new government is in place, by abandoning or cancelling projects,” he added.
While reacting to the concerns raised about delays in passing national budgets, the Minister said that initial efforts by the executive to return annual budgets to the regular January to December cycle met with some challenges. He later explained that whilst it is unlikely to be achieved this year because of electioneering distractions, the Government is still determined to push ahead with the process in subsequent years.
The ICAN President, Razak Jaiyeola (Alh) noted the strides recorded by the Ministry, despite the challenges and resource constraints it is facing and informed that the Institute is encouraged by the significant success recorded with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which the government initiated to rejig the nation’s development process.
“Indeed the record of achievements of the plan confirms that the country is truly on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth,” he avowed.
In expressing concern over delays in the passage of national budgets, Razak Jaiyeola disclosed that the President wants ICAN to be part of the engagement process in budget preparation, since the preparation of the Annual Fiscal Strategy which entails revenue framework, expenditure framework, priority areas and MDAs’ strategic thrusts require skills and competences which are the inherent assets of professional accountants.