• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Acting AGF decries proliferation of accountancy bodies in public sevice

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The Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh has questioned the multiplicity of accountancy bodies in the country which according to him, has had a negative impact on both professional standards and public perception of the value of accountants.

Okolieaboh stated this while addressing members of the newly inaugurated Unit of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, public sector accountants must emulate the noble examples of the first generation of Nigerian accountants who embodied the very best of professional excellence, integrity and modesty.

“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,” Okolieaboh was quoted as saying in a statement signed by Bawa Mokwa, director of information, office of the accountant general.

“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.

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“The accounting profession is confronting two key challenges: the first is the noticeable disinterest of accountants in intellectual matters affecting the ability of accountants to rise above the routine and the second being, the diminishing appeal of integrity and ethics among accountants.”

He also condemned the presumption among public sector accountants, that their main function is payments.

“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. It is the reason everyone believes he can perform accounting duties,” he said in the statement.

” It is the reason, ladies and gentlemen, matters of financial management have been relegated to the background. It is the reason that, the new generation of legal and routine accountants, do not reckon with the very essence of our profession and calling: stewardship expressed in financial statements.”

Revealing that there are currently over six accountancy related bodies recognized 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.

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, James Abalaka, said that to guide against aberrations, an average accountant must embrace innovativeness, reliability, trustworthiness, strong organizational skill and vigilance.

Abalaka referred to the Association of Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) Unit members as ambassadors of the treasury and advised them as accountants to earn trust of the people.

He also urged them to show integrity and trust in the discharge of their duties to project the profession and reverse the already bad impressions about accountants.