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Thursday, 14 November 2013
Nigeria: AGF Advocates New Accounting Policies
Accountant — General of the Federation, AGF, Jonah Ogunniyi, has stressed the need for accountants-general across the states to ensure the success of the implementation process of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, IPSAS, by 2014.
The process aims at embedding transparency and accountability in financial management and reporting in Nigeria through Integrated Financial Management Information System, IFMIS".
Ogunniyi, while tasking accountants-general in the country to re-assert themselves as the think-tank of public accounting and insist on probity and accountability in public financial management, noted that the sub-committee of Federation Account Allocation Committee has already provided the road map for the adoption of IPSAS, having developed and distributed to the three tiers of government the unified National Chart of Accounts, the format of the General Purpose Financial Statements and accounting policies, which are in agreement with IPSAS.
He gave the charge at the weekend during a retreat for accountants-general from the 36 states of the federation, in Lagos, with the theme; "Public Financial Management Reforms: The Way Forward", which he described as appropriate as the nation is currently undergoing different public financial management reforms initiatives. He stated further that for successful implementation of IPSAS, a communication plan must be drafted detailing the objective, the message, approach, target audience and pathway among others for the smooth transition.
Speaking also, Udo Hilary, Chairman, Forum of Accountants-General in Nigeria, who is also the Akwa-Ibom State Accountant General, said the four-day retreat was to re-appraise the commitments of the Accountants-General in Nigeria to the IPSAS road map and to imbibe new concepts that would be useful in discharging their day-to-day duties in their respective states.
According to Hilary, the adoption of IPSAS in Nigeria " will foster economic development and improve the living standards of citizens through increased foreign direct investment and international trade. It will ensure also, accountability and transparency and reliable financial information system in the National, State and Local Governments "He commended the Federal Government for its approval for the implementation of IPSAS in the country and the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola for the major improvements recorded in Lagos especially rapid developmental growth, orderliness and security.
He also charged his colleagues to continue to show commitment by making conscious efforts to review and update financial regulations and rules to conform to the requirements of IPSAS.
The Accountants-General at the end of the retreat pledged compliance to the implementation of IPSAS by 2014 as directed by Federal Government through capacity building , upgrade of information system, and adequate and effective communication of same to the third tiers of governments in their respective states among other measures to fully realise the benefits of IPSAS.
Some of the papers presented by faculties and discussed extensively by the nation's treasurers include: Public Finance for Good Governance, National Chart of Accounts, Financial Management and Performance and Public Financial Management: Way Forward.