Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday, 1st September, 2015 urged members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to key into the ongoing anti-corruption and re-orientation efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 45th Annual Conference of the ICAN, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, said the pivotal role played by accountants in the day to day running of government, calls for them to be above board in discharging their duties.
“I once heard someone say that “only accountants can save the world – through peace, goodwill and reconciliations. That tells me that the people who can save Nigeria are in this hall today”, he said.
“We must kick-start that process now by developing mechanisms that will make it compelling for members of the Institute to exhibit a high level of integrity wherever we find ourselves.
“As custodians and managers of financial resources, we must be above board and resist the temptation to compromise our professional ethics and personal integrity. This, I believe, should be our focus as we begin the journey of another fifty years”, he said.
He also tasked accountants in the country to commence the process of raising the bar of integrity through a pragmatic rebuilding of the nation’s value system so as to redefine the vision of the profession.
The Governor recalled that since the establishment of ICAN in 1965, the Institute has lived up to the expectations and dreams of the founding fathers, which has birthed world class chartered accountants offering quality services at the top echelon of both the public and private sector organizations.
He said the over 38,000 practicing members of the Institute, have in no small way contributed immensely to national economic growth as well as played critical roles in wealth creation.
“From a mere 250 members to over 40,000 membership, the Institute has, no doubt, made a remarkable achievement that is worth celebrating. This is in addition to the continuous reforms in response to the evolving changes in the 21st century.
“Today’s celebration however, presents a golden opportunity for the present leadership to bequeath to the coming generation, legacies and landmarks that will be worthy of celebration in the next 50 years. That legacy, in my mind, can be found in our motto “Accuracy and Integrity”, he said.
Governor Ambode said his administration, like ICAN, remains committed to running a government built on transparency and integrity, saying it was the only way Lagos State can meet the challenges of competing globally.
“Lagos State is similar to ICAN. Lagos state will be 50years in 2017 and is Nigeria’s economic powerhouse and nerve centre. The state has been the front runner in the country in many areas just like ICAN is the elite of institutions in Nigeria.
“Lagos State and your institute have key roles to play in the unfolding new development agenda in Nigeria. To do this, Lagos state needs the input of all its accounting professionals while the Institute needs to commence the process of raising the bar of integrity through a pragmatic rebuilding of our value system”, the Governor said.
He also congratulated the President of ICAN, Otunba Femi Deru, Council members, past Presidents and his professional colleagues on the Institute’s Golden anniversary.
Earlier, in his opening address, the ICAN President, Otunba Femi Deru, said accountants must use their skills and expertise to drive the renaissance of the nation’s value system.
“The virtues of selfless leadership, open governance, accountability and integrity must be entrenched in our system”, he said.
Deru said the institute has set up a N50million endowment fund to help in the fight against corruption, adding; “We have set up framework to reposition the institute for greater service delivery”.