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ICAN laments quality of graduates from tertiary institutions


Alhaji Isma’ila Muhammadu Zakari

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has lamented the quality of graduates produced by tertiary institutions in the country, saying it is affecting standards and professionalism of her members.

President of ICAN, Alhaji Isma’ila Muhammadu Zakari, who stated this at the weekend during the inauguration of Nsukka and District Society and investiture of Mr. Stephen Ndili as the pioneer chairman of the district, said poor educational standard had seriously affected the number of candidates taking her examination and graduating from the institute.

Zakari, who noted that only 25 per cent of the candidates that took part in her examination eventually passes, stated that something urgent needed to be done to halt the ugly trend in the interest of national development.

He said: “The challenges that have confronted the Institute have always been in the quality of the students that come to be trained by the Institute. The number of people who eventually pass the exam is very low. It is about 25 per cent. We would have wished that 100 per cent that partakes in the exam is able to pass. It is a major challenge coming from the standard of our educational system right now. The quality of students coming out of our educational system is very poor and this on the long run affects professionalism. It is a dangerous trend because if you don’t have the best, then accurate accounting will suffer.”

Zakari, who stated that ICAN had contributed immensely to national development by ensuring accuracy and integrity of audited accounts, stressed that it was now a thing of history that for audited public accounts to be declared incorrect.

“We have produced chartered accountants without which accountancy would not have been entrenched in Nigeria and what this means is that there will be no chartered accountants, there will be no auditors and businesses will not have been as successful as they are. Chartered accountants actually keep the Nigerian economy running. If you go to major listed companies in Nigeria, many of them, the CEOs are chartered accountants and chief financial officers.

“It is a long time since you heard that story. Our members can no longer issue false reports and a system is in place to check them.

“There is financial reporting council, which reviews every aspect of it to ensure that there is what is called disclosure requirements. It is the duty of the body to ensure that those requirements are met, and that is in line with standards set out which is international accounts reporting standards and it is not only in Nigeria but globally selected.

“We have continuously maintained discipline of our members and the message we sent out all the time is zero-tolerance for corruption. I don’t think there are cases in Nigeria where at the moment anybody can say that audited accounts are not correct. We have anti-corruption as part of our examination and our members sign to professional ethics,” he stated.

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