Chartered Accountants have implored the Federal Government to focus on education, Prevention and Sanction as key components of its anti-corruption strategy in order to reposition and grow the Nigerian economy. This was contained in the communiqué issued at the end of the 49th Annual Accountants’ Conference hosted recently at Abuja by the Institute.
Participants said education would involve strengthening institutions including revenue collecting agencies, the three arms of government, law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, political parties and electoral bodies to regularly train and retrain their employees.
They argued that “education should be given a pride of place as it creates awareness that enables citizens to easily identify where corruption exists”.
The chartered accountants urged the government to pay particular attention to prevention as a major strategy while not abandoning the sanction as a strategy.
The conference also asked government to address the issue of unemployment and poverty by creating start-up entrepreneurship programmes for youths and supporting them with enabling environment and proper funding.
On the aspect of prevention, the conference called for the creation of an enabling environment to prevent “crimes of opportunity” by ensuring individuals and organisations’ operate within the shared fundamental traits that are grounded in law, especially as regards appropriate and prompt payments of remunerations.
They noted that “some of the agencies created to fight corruption appeared to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem and have in certain instances adopted strategies that seem to infringe on the rights of citizens”.
On sanctions the communiqué asked for fairness and equity by government institutions as they go about their statutory duties.
“The sanctions to be meted out on corrupt citizens must be fair and not selective. It should not be seen to infringe on the rights of citizens. These institutions and agencies should demonstrate independence from government interference”, the communiqué said.
It called for speedy implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Sector Standards as it would encourage transparency and public accountability.