The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has charged practicing accountants in the society to adequately play their statutory role in order to help curtail corruption and contribute to economic development.
Owasanoye gave this charge during a courtesy visit by the President and management team of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to the Commission’s headquarters recently.
The Chairman stated that for the country to develop, accountants will have to be a very strong part of the process, saying that the accounting body was very important to economic development and have a huge role to play in curtailing corruption because they know figures. “To steal money you need accountants but they don’t need you to steal money,” he added.
Owasanoye further emphasized that if professional bodies were going to contribute to national development, it was necessary for them to carry out their assignments dispassionately with no iota of compromise.
He commended ICAN on their support to the anti-corruption fight especially with the introduction of Accountability Index (ICAN-AI) which assesses international best practices in Public Financial Management of the three tiers of government.
“Accountants can help call their management’s attention to mismanagement of funds and help them understand when things are going wrong, they stand in a very good position to play such statutory role,” he said.
The ICPC boss therefore advised the professional body to take tracking financial fraud as an initiative to curtail corruption, sanction unethical practices and forward names of implicated members to the Commission for prosecution.
Earlier, the ICAN President, Mallam Tijjani Musa Isa, FCA, in his address noted that corruption has become globalized and technology has accentuated a strong network of corrupt individuals who wield strong international, political, social, and economic influences.
“Beyond the challenge of localized corruption networks, ICPC has a more daunting task of tackling internationalized corruption networks, especially those that directly affect our nation,” he explained.
He therefore commended the Commission for the giant strides in apprehending high-profile offenders in cases of corruption in the country, particularly with the Commission’s policy of exposing people engaged in corrupt practices and the publication of names of those at large on the Commission’s website.
He also expressed the association’s gratitude to the Commission for collaborating with the Abuja female arm of the institute, the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN), Abuja Chapter, in the recently held seminar on Building Institutional Resilience to Reduce Corruption and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).