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Stop borrowing to finance consumption, accountants urge FG

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has cautioned the Federal Government against borrowing to finance consumption, stressing that the habit was inimical to growth and development.

Its new president, Mrs. Comfort Eyitayo, made the appeal yesterday in Lagos during her investiture as the institute’s 57th chief executive. She said for the nation to survive economically, it must desist from spending over 70 per cent of its revenues on debt servicing.

The programme attracted the doyen of accountancy in Nigeria, Pa Akintola Williams, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi and representatives of Oba of Lagos.

According to her, as a professional organisation in the sub-region, accountants must take on the challenge of setting a new agenda for national rebirth, including achieving sustainable development for the present generation without impairing the capacity of future generations to enjoy nature’s abundant resources.

She said: “As financial experts, we will lend our voices to the call by patriotic Nigerians that the trend towards borrowing to finance consumption should be discouraged notwithstanding the fact that the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is within acceptable fiscal and economic limits.

“What does the GDP mean to the common man when inflation is over 18 per cent and he cannot afford three square meals? We would take on the advocacy role and collaborate with the government to review the planning, budgeting and financing mechanics. We would also liaise with standard setters and regulators to review the nation’s corporate reporting framework such that sustainability metrics are mandatorily required of listed entities.”

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