President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday warned that with the fall in oil prices, Nigeria risked economic decline, if it failed to manage its resources prudently.
Buhari gave the warning during a meeting with members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari urged accountants to take their audit reports seriously.
He urged them to support his administration’s efforts to restore probity, prudence and transparency.
Buhari said with declining 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, hailed the renaissance of the nation’s value system and the reinvigoration of the war against corruption 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 that the President had shown strong leadership.
He stated, “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.”