President Muhammadu Buhari has sounded a note of warning on Tuesday, September 1, about the fall in oil prices, saying Nigeria risks economic decline, especially if the country does not to manage its resources well.
The Punch reports that Buhari gave this warning during a meeting with members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria at the presidential villa in Abuja. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari told the accountants to take their audit reports seriously. He also urged them to support his administration’s efforts to restore integrity and transparency
Buhari said with the decreasing prices of oil exports, Nigeria must begin to properly manage its available resources or face developmental stagnation and decline.
The President stated that accountants should help the government “to go back to the days of real accountability in the management of public funds. “The annual audits of government ministries, agencies and departments, which your members undertake must be taken more seriously. People must be made to properly account for whatever government funds are entrusted to their supervision. “Let your audit reports on our MDAs be thoroughly, professionally and dispassionately done to ensure greater probity in the management of our national resources.”
The ICAN President, Olufemi Deru, in his speech, praised the revival process in the nation’s value system and the massive anti corruption war by Buhari. He stated: “The values you hold dear – those of integrity, transparency and accountability – are the foundation of the accountancy profession. “It is therefore heartening and commendable that you are engaging our members and their firms in the anti-corruption crusade.”
After the meeting, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, and his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, spoke with journalists. Amosun said to fight corruption, there was a need for accountants to collaborate with government in planning, budgeting and management. He noted that accountants were being involved in the investigations being conducted by anti-corruption agencies.
On his part, Ambode said that Buhari had succeeded in bringing integrity and credibility into public office and commended the President’s 100 days in office. When asked whether he was probing Fashola, he said, “I have said it is continuity with improvement.”
Commending Buhari, Ambode said: “What President Muhammadu Buhari has come up with in the last 100 days is about credibility and integrity for those of us who are in public office. Buhari has come up with moral leadership in the last 100 days and that is what is needed to fight corruption in the country. “Nobody is judging anyone. What we have seen since May 29 is about strong leadership that has shown direction to all Nigerians. The mantra of such leadership that is being reflected by the President is what we are seeing in other states.”
According to him, everybody is beginning to feel that the law must be obeyed. He noted that all revenue agencies had started paying to a single account, which had made everyone to be accountable.
Deru, who also spoke with journalists, said, “Accountability is our business and we uphold the tenets of transparency and we must be transparent in what we do. We also have the whistle-blowing fund so that anybody who misbehaves and they want to penalise our member, we have N50m set aside to fight such course.”
Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party had raised an alarm over the way and manner President Muhammadu Buhari has been running the Nigerian economy since he took over the reins of power to preside over Africa’s largest economy. They accused him of grinding the economy to a halt.
About a week ago, the Plateau state governor, Simon Lanlong, was at the Aso Villa with the suspended comptroller general of the Nigerian Immigration Service, David Paradang, to plead with President Buhari. Meanwhile, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Rangaian Ghanashyam earlier said the president’s ongoing effort at fighting corruption would attract more foreign investments.