By Providence Obuh
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has faulted plans by federal government to hire foreign consultants to monitor Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) budget.
ICAN in its position statement on the issue, signed by President of ICAN, Deacon Titus Soetan, said: “the idea to monitor budgets is a laudable one, but the federal government does not require the services of foreign consultants to monitor the budgets of the Nigerian MDAs.”
He explained that a single audit process will require MDAs to obtain a yearly financial statement audit in addition to a compliance review of the terms and conditions of its federal award by a professional auditor.
For instance, he said this is what obtains in the United States of America under the United States Single Audit Act 1984 as amended by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 .
“We therefore wish to reiterate that the government should not expend scarce foreign currency earnings on monitoring projects which can ordinarily be done by Nigerian Professional Accounts.
“We are of the firm believe that involving Nigerian accounting firms in the exercise would not only yield better results, but also help create jobs for the citizens,” he said.
The president assured that the institute and its members are ready to work with the federal government to achieve this objective in the overall interest of the Nigerian public submitting that it is available to meet the minister and the Economic Team.
Also commenting, Registrar/Chief Executive of ICAN, Mr. Rotimi Omotoso, added that bringing foreign consultant to monitor MDAs budget would not be in the right direction because the country possesses a lot of professionally qualified accountants and auditors who are in best position to monitor the budget.
“We are talking about budget, it is not rocket science, it is financial statement. So, I think government should propel MDAs to prepare financial statements and have it audited and have their projects verified,” he said.