—-As ANAN tells President to avert another recession
—-Calls for privatization of non-performing govt assets
—-Endorses Buhari for second term
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration must render accounts of what comes into the coffers of government as well as what goes out.
President Buhari who stated this on Friday when he received the leadership of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN, who paid a courtesy visit on him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said his administration remained focused and more energised in ensuring accountability in the country.
He said that the enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, was not optional for growth, adding that his insistence on the financial structure required much sacrifice and focus on the part of the government as “accountability” was no longer optional.
According to him, “One of the cardinal objectives of this administration is that people and all government institutions must give account for what comes in and goes out.
“We did not introduce TSA, but we enforced it. TSA makes a lot of sense that you must have to give account for whatever comes in and goes out in government finance; that’s accountability.”
President Buhari urged accountants to remain focused and support the government in the ongoing fight against corruption, warning that they might not be liked by many people because of their professional ethics, but the sacrifice was necessary for the country to grow.
In his remarks, the President and Chairman, Governing Council of ANAN, Alhaji Shehu Usman Ladan, described the alarm over a possible relapse into recession as timely, saying that it was a wake-up call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to work harder on the economy to avert it.
The association also advised the Federal Government to privatize non performing government assets and enhance regulations for the financial sector development.
He appealed to the President to control enhancement for the prevention of corruption in the public sector.
ANAN also endorsed President Buhari for a second term and urged him to develop institutions and programmes that will prevent corruption through control mechanism.
Ladan, who spoke to State House correspondents after he led the delegation of his association in the courtesy visit said that the country’s economy was well enough to inspire ANAN’s confidence that Buhari would be able to work harder to prevent a second in three years.
According to him: “We commend the Government for bringing the country out of recession and effort to place the country on the path of sound economic growth.
Ladan also praised Buhari for diversifying the economy from oil to other sectors like agriculture; attracting local and foreign investments; empowering the youth through programmes like the N-Power Scheme; and tackling corruption in the country headlong with instruments like the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
In view of all these, ANAN announced its support for Buhari’s reelection in 2019, declaring in its position paper presented to him during the visit that “we have no doubt that it second term of Tour Excellency will bring more succour to the citizenry and a better economy”.
ANAN also canvassed for more recognition and appreciation of members of the association in the public service, as it had observed a bias in favour of the rival body, Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Nigeria (ICAN).
The group said “ANAN should be included in the Federal Scheme of Service where a number of professional bodies are listed for direct appointment on Grade Level 10. This is to say that ANAN should be placed on Grade Level 10 at the point of entry in the public service just like their counterparts in other professions”.
The Association further asked for rotation of positions of Chairman and Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria between ANAN and ICAN, instead of having the latter hold both positions at same time as happened recently.
The ANAN leadership finally begged the President to “consider the appointment of members of the Association into key positions in the Government. We have many capable members that can assist the government in the formulation and implementation of its policies/programmes”.