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ICAN Amendment Bill scales 2nd reading



The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Act Amendment Bill on Wednesday scaled second reading at the Senate.

This followed the presentation of the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC-Ogun) at plenary.

Presenting the bill, Adeola said it was read for the first time on Nov. 16, 2023.

He said the ICAN Act, came into effect on Sept 1, 1965, some 59 years ago.

He said the act empowered the institute to set standards and regulate the practice of accountancy in Nigeria, in line with developments in the economy and changing needs of chartered accountants.

He said over the years, it had become imperative to amend certain provisions of this act and insert new provisions to bring it up to current realities.

This, he said, would ensure that ICAN remained adaptive, forward-thinking, and attuned to the needs of the nation.

“A total of 26 amendments, insertions are contained in the proposed amendment of the act affecting sections and subsections of the Act,” he said.

He said there was need to situate accounting practice to encompass developments since 1965 and bring the practice to what was obtained in other jurisdictions, hence the need to amend Section 1,14, 19 and inserting a new section 15.

He said all sections for amendment dealt with issues of accounting practices and all areas that a chartered accountant is entitled to practice under the act.

“Corporate governance of modern professional accountancy organisations has evolved, hence the need to amend parts of Sections 2, 3 and 6 and inserting new Sections 24 to 26.

“For instance, Section 3 of the act is proposed for amendment because the Council of ICAN started off with a 20-member structure in 1965 when membership was just 250.

“The number was subsequently increased to 25 in accordance with the provisions of the act, with membership strength of over 53,000 today.

“The need to increase the membership of the council to 36 has become compelling,” he said.

Adeola said the amendment would strengthen ICAN’s collaboration with other professional bodies and regulatory authorities, both at home and abroad.

He said the collaborations would foster synergy, knowledge exchange, and harmonisation of standards, guaranteeing that Nigerian chartered accountants remained at par with global best practices and their global counterparts.

He said there was need to enhance the capacity of the institute to carry out its mandate in the area of regulation and compliance.

“The amendments collectively aim to strengthen the legislative framework, expand the institute’s structure, and enhance regulatory powers and professional integrity within the accountancy profession as in other jurisdictions of the world and global best practices,’’ he said.

Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger) who seconded the motion, said the amendments were necessary to move accounting profession forward in Nigeria.

Sen. Ibrahim Dankambo (PDP-Gombe) said the amendment was timely and apt, as it would strengthen the institute and empower it to collaborate internationally.

He said the amendment would further help develop the accounting profession in Nigeria.

President of Senate, Godswill Akpiabio thereafter referred the bill to Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service for further legislative inputs and to return back in three weeks.

Kingsley Okoye

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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