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Osinbajo, ANAN make case for new technology adoption 

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, have called on accountants to adapt to changes sweeping across all professional disciplines, saying only new skills in disruptive technologies would make them relevant. 

The Vice President, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Dr. Sarah Alade, charged ANAN to ensure “its members possess the skills and knowledge that are relevant to modern needs.” He spoke at the 25th annual conference of the Association on Tuesday.

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He noted that the idea that financial service can be provided using modern software and technology at a much lower cost than orthodox methods is now a reality, which professionals must confront. Accountants, he said, could only be as relevant as they are strong in digital skills.

Osinbajo said the government was looking forward to partnering with accountants in identifying ways of using innovative technologies to generate more revenues to build a more inclusive economy. 

According to him, new technologies are creating needed industries while phasing out older ones across the world, and Nigeria is not exempted from the disruption.      

Also Speaking, Mainoma said the theme of the conference, “Disruptive Technologies and Innovations: The Place of the Accountants,” is more relevant now than any other time in the history of the accounting profession.

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He explained that the conference, which attracted over 5,000 physical and virtual participants, was aimed at developing strategies for managing and mainstreaming disruptive technologies into Nigeria’s accounting profession.

According to him, with the wave of globalisation sweeping across all countries, accountants have no option but to upskill to remain relevant, adding that the sessions would provide insights into the various disruptive technologies and the influence exerted on innovation.

“The interplay between accounting, innovative technology, and knowledge management is an increasingly crucial and relevant topic of discourse in contemporary times,” he said and described disruptive technology as an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, businesses, and even nations operate.

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He cited examples of disruptive technologies to include, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, smart contracts, advanced analytics e-commerce, online news sites, and ride-sharing apps. As a result, accountants must not only be bothered about the current but also the future.

Justifying his position, he stated: “This is because recently, disruptive technologies have reshaped existing business models and facilitated the emergence of new ones wherein repetitive and mundane tasks are becoming less important and the need for high-level skills is increasing. Though experts have posited that it will still be some time before these technologies will affect the workplace at a significant scale, the current wave of globalisation suggests otherwise.”

He suggested the prioritization of innovation and technology in Nigeria’s nation-building and sustainable growth agenda.

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The Chief Executive Officer, ANAN, Dr. Nuruddeen Abdullahi, said the changing landscape in the profession was led by technological innovations, including information technology, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Prof. Adebayo Adejola, who chaired Conference, Workshops & Publicity Committee of ANAN, noted that the world had entered an era of “digital Darwinism” where technology was evolving too fast for many individuals and organisations to adapt to the changes. According to him, as the rate of change accelerates, people, businesses, and nations are struggling to catch up with the speed. 

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