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Institute accuses ICAN of suppressing growth of accounting profession

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ICAN President, Ismaila Zakari,

The President of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditor (CIFIA), Dr Enape Ayishetu, has described statement credited to the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) as wicked, unbridled and opportunistic way of monopolising accounting practice in Nigeria.

She maintained that ICAN does not have the moral right to warn against “proliferation of accountancy bodies” in the country.

ICAN President, Ismaila Zakari, had at a forum in Lagos, recently, kicked against proliferation of accountancy bodies in Nigeria, saying the promoters of those bodies were only interested in their personal pockets and not professionalism.

But Ayishetu, while speaking to journalists on Monday, in Abuja, pointed out that ICAN had more often deployed strong-arm tactics to monopolise the profession, giving instance of how it muscled the Nigerian university system from training accountants but were failed in the quest for monopoly.

She said ICAN also tried to frustrate the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) bill, but failed woefully, adding that hey also used the same worn-out argument against the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) to frustrate the bill and failed too.

“Now, they have started foraging in their usual futile, circumlocutory fashion to frustrate the passage of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (CIFIA) bill,” she alleged.

The CIFIA President wondered how a country like Nigeria with an estimated population of 196 million people be content with only two accounting bodies, when smaller countries have over 10 professional accounting bodies.

She added that for over 50 years of existence, ICAN has only been able to produce 100,000 accountants, that is roughly one accountant to 2,000 Nigerian and when you add foreign businesses the number would recede.

“So, where lies the mediocrity they are talking about? Who among them is more qualified than the promoters of CIFIA bill? Is it not the same argument of mediocrity that they used against promoters of ANAN and CITN bills?

They even took ANAN to court and lost all their cases. Today, they are wining and dining on the same table,” she said.

Ayishetu questioned what professional disenfranchisement ICAN would suffer as a result of the CFIA bill now in the Senate and has gone past the first and second reading and public hearing.

She also wondered how ICAN can regulate the preparation of corporate financial accounts, perform the audit, conduct forensic and investigative audit of corrupt and fraudulent accounting and at the same time practice.

The CIFIA president urged the Senate to realise that the move by ICAN is in their character and should be stopped from suppressing the will of majority of Nigerians.


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ICANIsmaila Zakari
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