BusinessDay

ICAN advocates sustainability practices to build robust economy

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has enjoined its members and Nigerians at large to embed a sustainability culture to maximise the flow of new and mobile factors of production to navigate the economic challenges.

ICAN issued this communiqué at the end of its 52nd annual accountants’ conference presided over by Tijjani Musa Isa, the 58th president of the institute held recently at Abuja, Nigeria. The theme of the conference was; “Nigeria: Adopting Sustainability for Economic Prosperity”.

At the end of the conference which had six plenaries, with eminent scholars, professionals, and technocrats drawn from within and outside Nigeria, the delegates resolved that sustainability practices is the way to travel if the country is to forward economically.

“Considering its significantly youthful population and access to abundant natural resources, Nigeria is well positioned to attract new investment that is needed for the next wave of economic prosperity.

Therefore, to build a prosperous nation, all enterprises in Nigeria, including the public sector must embed sustainability practices in all their activities,” the communiqué read in part.

Delegates supported the growing call for public sector entities in Nigeria to also include sustainability activities in their reports. The accountants and financial managers considered this inclusion necessary given that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address solutions to human challenges of poverty, financial inclusion, water, inequality, climate change, etc. being faced by developing countries.

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They identified capacity building as the most critical factor for the effective and seamless adoption of international sustainability standards. Hence, they urged the international sustainability standards board to as a matter of priority, assist Nigeria in building the required capacity.

Delegates at the conference agreed that to create new revenue sources, drive innovation, create jobs, and support linkages among sectors for a positive spillover of growth and productivity, the government should accelerate the implementation of the provisions of the Climate Change Act 2021, continued investment in technology, and increase spending on infrastructure.

According to the delegates, though Nigeria has bold and ambitious plans, concerted efforts are required to optimise the intended value, noting the nexus between energy availability and economic development, and appreciating why the country’s large energy deficit is responsible for the lag in economic development.

They then urged that the Nigerian National Energy Transition Master plan be harmonised, aligned, and ultimately implemented, even as they acknowledged that early adoption of the international sustainability reporting standards is instrumental to unlocking the flow of capital into the country for an effective transition to a sustainability-based economy.

They maintained that the challenge of climate change presents an opportunity for Nigeria to transform into a green economy. A Nigerian green economy would, for instance, build a sustainable transportation system devoid of carbon emissions; have an efficient recycling and waste management system, and lower unemployment by creating green jobs for the future, in a more diversified economy.