BY PROVIDENCE OBUH
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has announced a new condition of admitting foreign trained accountants into its membership.
Also in the last 50 years, the institute’s membership has grown in addition to the 1,096 new inductees from 35,794 before the November 2012 induction to a total number of 36,890.
Speaking during the 50th induction ceremony for new members inLagos, President of the Institute, Mr. Adedoyin Owolabi said, “The Council of our Institute has considered for some time the modality of admitting foreign trained accountants into the membership of ICAN; and has decided to subject the practice to a review. Consequently therefore, the inductees from the last exercise held in October 2012 who are being inducted today (Wednesday) will be the last set to be offered direct membership of the Institute. Subsequently, holders of foreign qualifications will be expected to write examinations in specific papers for the Nigerian needs.”
Owolabi, also the 48th President of the Institute enjoined the inductees to live above board, saying, “The recent incidents in our banking sector have again re-echoed the need for transparency in our corporate activities. Professionals across a wide spectrum of professions have demonstrated indiscretion in their application of regulatory and ethical standards and within the accountancy profession;ther.e is concern of inconsistencies and failure to comply with accounting and other regulatory requirements.
“As you are no doubt aware, it is the prevalence of corruption and sharp practices in low and high places in the nation that has contributed to the slow pace of development of this richly endowed nation. This is exacerbated by the absence of transparency and accountability.
“Indeed, financial improprieties by persons in position of trust have been a recipe for under-development, increased suffering of the citizens, unemployment, hunger and anger of the poor and insecurity for all.
“There is a direct relationship between a nation’s value system and its level of economic growth and development and this call for soul searching among the citizens and in particular, among Chartered Accountants whose main strengths are integrity and credibility. We must hold dear to these virtues on which our survival depends.”
For the newly admitted members, he said, “As the conscience of the nation, Accounting Professionals must strive to create oasis of sanity in their spheres of influence such that a virtuous society will emerge. This is a compelling mandate we must continue to discharge. Indeed, as Chartered Accountants, we must deliberately join the critical mass to support and sustain the on-going anti-corruption crusade by the government. We must all stand up to be counted in this battle for the renaissance of our social values and those of you being brought into the fold of this noble profession, must join your peers to take up this battle.
“The Institute will not condone any professional misdemeanour on the part of any Chartered Accountant irrespective of how highly or lowly placed in the Profession or Society. Since we do not have any sacred cow, the machinery of the Institute’s Disciplinary processes would be brought to bear on all such deviant cases, he stated.