By Providence Emmanuel
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has said that delay in adjudicating on corruption cases could serve as an impetus for perpetrators to continue in the act.
To this end, President of ICAN, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, proposed that the government should establish special courts that would deal with cases of corruption in a speedy manner, saying, “Delay in adjudicating on corruption cases could serve as an impetus for perpetrators to continue in the act.
The country needs a judicial system that would be strong to serve as deterrent against corrupt tendencies.”
Jaiyeola who said this in commemoration of the 2018 International Anti-Corruption Day, proposed that the acts establishing the different agencies saddled with the task of fighting corruption should be revisited and further strengthened to grant them total autonomy from any seating government, adding that this would forestall political interference in the activities of the agencies.
He stated: “All political office holders or aspirants should be mandated to declare their assets before and after tenure of office. The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE should be independent and equipped with necessary facilities to discharge their mandate adequately.
“Government at all levels and their agencies should publish their audited reports under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) which was adopted as a framework for public sector reporting in 2010.
“Professional bodies should work more closely with governments in addressing the menace of corruption. Corruption cuts across different fields, disciplines and sectors and government’s efforts at fighting it would yield better results if all professional bodies enforce the ethics of their professions on all their members and infractions are properly dealt with.
“A name-and-shame strategy should be adopted for anyone, irrespective of status, caught in corrupt practices. Religious institutions, social clubs and other societies should support government in encouraging members of their organizations to live above board and discourage members from engaging in any form of corrupt practices” he said.
Meanwhile, Jaiyeola added that as part of the ICAN’s initiative to minimize corruption in the country, it established a Faculty on Audit, Investigations and Forensic Accounting in 2001in which it has produced several certified forensic accounting and audit specialists who work in different agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
Some of the initiative also include: the N50 million Whistle-Blower’s Fund to protect and compensate its members who report any form of financial misdemeanor in the country, launched in 2015 as well as the ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN AI), developed together with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as a veritable tool for restoring the Nigerian polity to the path of integrity, transparency and accountability.