The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Mallam Tijjani Musa Isa, has said that the country is at a crossroads where it must address the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.
Isa, who made the remark during his investiture as the 58th president of the institute in Lagos, argued that for too long, public expenditure and service have been driven by narrow personal gains rather than the common good.
He said this has led to inexcusable and unacceptable misery indices accentuated by the high rate of unemployment, poor access of the citizenry to the basic things of life, high illiteracy rate, the huge number of out-of-school children, low life expectancy rate, high rate of girl-child marriages and insecurity in the land.
He said that the professional body will partner with the government to redefine national values, economic priorities and resource utilisation strategies such that the mass of the citizenry can be lifted out of avoidable poverty.
“The anger of the hungry and the sense of insecurity of the helpless and vulnerable must be addressed for this narrative to change, for the sake of all of us. This is especially imperative as the nation stands at the threshold of a new political administration. We will continue to insist on the ideals that would enable the prosperous economy that we all desire,” he said.
He also said that the council will engage the three arms of government to address avoidable waste by all tiers of government in the use of public resources because of deficiency in human capacity, poor financial reporting practices, internal control weaknesses and disdain for due process by most politicians in positions of trust.
The ICAN president, who called on members and other stakeholders to report erring colleagues, said the council will give adequate publicity to the judgments of the Accountants’ Disciplinary Tribunal in order to assure the public that appropriate actions are being taken by the institute on unethical practices by its members that are brought to its notice.
From Abiodun Alade & Ayobami Balogun, Lagos