ICAN kicks against abolition of professional certificates for civil service entry-level recruitment
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has expressed concerns about regulations that limit the use of professional qualifications as entry criteria into the civil/public service of the federation.
It described the policy as un-savoury for professionalism in the country. President of the Institute, Comfort Eyitayo, who said this recently, explained that the policy would negatively affect children of the poor, who could not obtain formal education due to financial challenges but decided to pursue professional qualifications through private studies.
Specifically, she said fewer professionals would now be desirous of making careers in the public sector due to the avoidable barrier as the door has been shut against them. She noted that young Nigerians would be dissuaded from pursuing professional education since the premium placed on its qualifications by the government has been whittled down.
Eyitayo said, “We are challenged not only by the harsh economic circumstances of our nation but also by pieces of regulations designed to diminish the importance of professionalism in public governance. As you are aware, the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation on April 2021 issued a circular (HCSF/SPSO/ODO/NCE/CND.100/S.10/III/104) to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) stopping the use of professional qualifications as entry qualifications into the civil/public service of the federation with immediate effect.
“The circular affirmed that professional qualifications would only be an added advantage, in the interim, if a civil servant is to be promoted from salary grade level 13 to 14.”
According to her, the public sector needs more and not fewer professionals, adding that it was an irony that the nation is unwittingly discouraging the building of capacity by professional bodies through this policy, even when a body like ICAN does not receive any funding from the government.
For her, to accept a post-primary qualification for entry into the civil/public service and disparage professional qualifications as not an acceptable qualification for the same purpose is to hold in contempt the Acts of Parliament, which set up the various professional bodies.
She reiterated that the institute was poised to raise the banner of advocacy and stem this ugly tide for the benefit of all stakeholders in the profession.
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