Acting Accountant General decries proliferation of accountancy bodies – Tribune Online

Joseph Inokotong – Abuja
The Acting Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Sylva Okolieaboh has questioned the multiplicity of accountancy bodies in the country which has had a negative impact on both professional standards and public perception of the value of accountants.
Okolieaboh stated this in his address to members of the newly inaugurated Unit of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
He also called on the nation’s accountants to rise to the fullness of their professional functions and avoid a narrow perspective which negatively affects their relevance in a changing local and global environment.
Recalling his contribution during a previous engagement with the leadership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Okolieaboh contended that the profession is confronting two key challenges: “the noticeable disinterest of accountants in intellectual matters affecting the ability of accountants to rise above the routine”, and “the diminishing appeal of integrity and ethics among accountants”.
The Acting AGF therefore urged public sector accountants to emulate the noble examples of the first generation of Nigerian accountants who embodied “the very best of professional excellence, integrity and modesty”.
He also condemned the presumption, popular among public sector accountants, that their main function is payment which has led to a focus on a finite number of functions that culminate in payment either by cheque signing or raising online mandate.
Okolieaboh explained the consequences of this wrong mindset on the work of professional accountants: “This reductionist view of the role of the accountant is equally dangerous. It is the reason anyone who can perform any of those routines considers himself an accountant.
Revealing that there are currently over six accountancy related bodies recognised by law in the nation and double that number at various stages of the process of seeking registration, Okolieaboh described the proliferation as “a recipe for value degradation”.
In his words: “The more, the merrier” may be a useful adage in the general affairs of society; but in the specific and narrow world of professional accountancy, or any profession for that matter, it is a recipe for value degradation. It is creating a disturbing generation of “legal accountants” instead of well trained and groomed professional accountants. The difference is that while “legal accountants” are covered by law, they lack the requisite training and competence to discharge the duties of true accountants.”
Mr. Bawa Mokwa Director of Information, Press and Public Relations in the OAGF said in a statement that while congratulating the members of the newly elected chapter of ANAN, the Acting AGF urged them to play a role in the urgent task of improving professional standards and contributing to the development of the nation.

Earlier in his inaugural speech, the Deputy Director, Funds, Dr. James Abalaka, said that to guide against aberrations, an average accountant must embrace innovativeness, reliability, (integrity related), Trustworthiness (integrity related), strong organisational skill and vigilance (due diligence related).
Abalaka urged the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) Unit to show integrity and trust in the discharge of their duties to project the profession and reverse the already bad impressions about accountants.
The highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling/official inauguration of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) Unit by the Chairman, ANAN Abuja, Chapter, Mr. Shauah Elisha Andrew. ANAN OAGF Unit has Mr. Fadipe Joseph as the Coordinator, Idode Ohis as Secretary and Wumakalsim Katugwa as Treasurer.

© 2023 Tribune Online, an online publication of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Tribune Online, an online publication of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. All Rights Reserved.
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