Auditor-General tasks accountants on professional conduct

Auditor-General tasks auditors on ethics
Access Bank Plc

The Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr Anthony Ayine, has charged accounting professionals to uphold the tenets of the job by keying into the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).

Ayine, in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, enjoined accountants to ensure the implementation of the NACS.

Ayine gave the charge while speaking on “The Effects of Corruption on Professional Conduct” at a workshop organised by the anti-corruption transparency unit of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF), in Abuja.

He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration from inception, had identified corruption as the main factor impeding good governance and the development in the country.

He said that the government had, therefore, been working hard to establish strong systems and structures in the fight against corruption.

“Today, it is no longer news that corruption is the greatest tragedy and main obstacle to development, stability and growth of Nigeria, despite our abundant resources.

“We must also note that the real effect of corruption on a professional is that it renders him/her impotent,” he said.

In his remark, the Acting Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Musa Abubakar, said that in most corruption cases reported to the commission, professionals, including accountants, were found to be involved.

Abubakar, therefore, advised accounting professionals to uphold the tenets of the profession such as independence, objectivity, integrity, accountability, transparency and confidentiality.

According to him, corruption is the fundamental cause of insecurity, poverty, unemployment, miscarriage of justice and reduction of direct foreign investments in Nigeria.

“The ICPC, under its preventive and enforcement mandate, will continue to collaborate with the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, to eliminate corruption in the public sector.”

Also speaking, the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Muhammed Isah, said systemic corruption occurred primarily due to weakness of an organisation or its processes.

Isah noted that corruption was largely fuelled by conflicting incentives, discretionary powers, monopolistic powers, lack of transparency, low pay and the culture of impunity.

Isah, who was represented by the Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, Ngusha Agom-Tor, urged auditors to lead by example.

“Auditors should seek to abrogate discretionary bureaucratic decision-making that adds no value to the end product; always be guided by substantive and procedural fairness, as well as lead by example,” he said.

The three main levels of the NACS includes strengthening the legal and institutional framework of anti-corruption; mainstreaming anti-corruption principles into government and service delivery and mainstreaming anti-corruption principles into sub-national public administration.

The anti-corruption workshop was organised for staff of the directorate cadre as part of reforms aimed at fighting corruption.

It had in attendance representatives from the Federal Ministry of Finance and the National Population Council, among others.