It is my great pleasure to welcome you all, both physical and virtual participants, to the Golden Jubilee Annual Accountants’ Conference of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The Annual Accountants’ Conference has come a long way. With a modest participation of about 200 delegates during its first edition held in University of Lagos in 1971, successive Conferences had consistently attracted internationally-renowned speakers and drawn over 5600 delegates from several countries across all the continents of the world.
Over the years, it has continued to beam well-deserved searchlight on economic, financial, ethical and corporate reporting issues with direct bearing on the Accountancy Profession, national and global economy.
We rose from each edition with profound policy recommendations and novel initiatives which have positively impacted human and technical capacity building, resource management and value creation in both the public and private sectors of the economy. As a body, we have every reason to roll out our drums in celebration of five (5) decades of achievements and success.
Without doubt. this historic Golden Jubilee edition presents the Institute an auspicious opportunity to commemorate one of the most impactful and largest annual gatherings of professional accountants within the African Continent. I dare say that the annual Conference is not just a platform for distilling cutting-edge professional ideas but an opportunity for Chartered Accountants from diverse backgrounds and climes to network and share experiences for the benefit of their numerous stakeholders.
Distinguished participants, this landmark Conference of our great Institute is taking place at a time when disruptive technology and the COVID-19 pandemic are creating a watershed in human history. The theme of the Conference, The 4th Industrial Revolution: Boom for the Accounting Profession and Panacea for Pandemic, is aimed at stirring participants to embrace and leverage disruptive technology to overcome the challenges imposed by these developments on the accounting profession, business models and the economy in general.
With investment in Digital Transformation software and services projected to amount to US$5 trillion between 2020 and 2030, the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution promises to be different from past Industrial Revolutions in terms of its depth, spread and speed. Characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, its impact will redefine our cherished traditional beliefs on how businesses and economies should run.
In fact the World Economic Forum in one of its reports has noted that by 2025, the first AI (Artificial Intelligence) machine will be on a corporate board of Directors. The advent of COVID-19 has only amplified the urgency of discussions around leveraging technology to navigate the current crisis.
Distinguished delegates, the 50th Annual Accountants’ Conference has been uniquely assembled to acquaint participants with contemporary technological, economic, national and global issues. The knowledge shared at this Conference would hopefully reposition participants and their businesses for the future and provide the skills required to harness opportunities arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution and the new normal.
The Conference will deal specifically on the impact of technology on our profession and tips for becoming a successful entrepreneur post covid-19. The Conference is not all about technical interactions. There are also social and sporting events for networking and promotion of the wellness of delegates.
The Conference will open on Monday, 5th April, 2021with a Christian Praise Night that will feature the Abuja Mass Choir, and other celebrated Gospel Artists. We will also have the Moslem Prayers ably led by notable Imams and Muslim Clerics from Abuja.
At the grand Gala Nite/Dinner, we would all dance to the live beats of King Sunny Ade, reputable Hip Hop Artiste OLAMIDE aka BADOO and a Standby DJ. The raffle draw has a car as the star prize along with several other consolation prizes. The virtual participants are assured of an equally exciting experience, as the physical delegates, as these exciting activities would be streamed live on the highly interactive Conference App.
As we flag off this 50th Annual Accountants’ Conference, we are very conscious of the pervasiveness of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, as in other jurisdictions, and the challenge it imposes on our normal way of life. It was in appreciation of this and in strict compliance with government approved COVID-19 Protocols, that the adoption of a hybrid format of physical and virtual participation became expedient.
The truism that we need to be alive to participate in this and future conferences is not lost on the Council. This explains why compliance to all protocols and measures put in place will be scrupulously enforced. We therefore assure physical delegates that your health is as important as desire to equip you with topnotch update on developments in the accounting profession.
As I close, let me acknowledge the immense support of our sponsors and collaborators as well as all the National and International Guest Speakers that have graciously accepted our invitation to this event. I wish to particularly mention that the President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Mr. Alan Johnson, is one of the dignitaries expected at this Golden Jubilee Conference. The CEO of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and Board members of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA) will also attend this Special Conference.
Once again. I welcome you all to the Golden Jubilee Annual Accountants’ Conference and wish you a memorable experience in Abuja, Nigeria’s beautiful City of Unity.
Dame Onome Joy Adewuyi, Bsc, Msc, FCIB, FCA
56th President, ICAN