Financial illiteracy, cause of corruption in Nigeria —ACCA country head

The Country Manager, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Oluwatoyin Ademola, has said financial illiteracy is responsible for high rate of corruption in Nigeria.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune at the ACCA Polytechnic Connect, organised by the organisation for polytechnic students in Ibadan and its environs, held in Ibadan, on Thursday, Ademola said weak ethical standards, as well as financial illiteracy was responsible for corruption in the country.

The ACCA Polytechnic Connect, according to her, was organised to train to help the students to overcome the polytechnic degree bias, take steps towards a successful career in accounting and finance and to get ahead with globally organised qualification.

To curb corruption, Ademola said there was a need to strengthen ethical standards in governance and to put the right people, who are educated in particular positions.

“Nigeria in itself is not corrupt, it’s the individuals in the government that are corrupt,” she said, adding that “I always talk about this; there is a difference between being educated and going to school.

“Being educated is that you can apply the knowledge you learnt. One of the reasons that there’s so much corruption in Nigeria is because don’t understand financial management. People don’t understand that they don’t need to embezzle N10 billion to be rich and it is that lack of understanding that is responsible for embezzlement.

“Lack of financial awareness is the cause of this and that’s why we are also supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria in trying to do financial literacy and we believe that financial illiteracy is a lead cause of corruption. What we want to do is work with the government and the CBN in strategic solutions, not tactical solutions.”

ACCA is the largest accountancy body in the world, established in the 1900, which “offers business-relevant, first-choice qualification to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management,” she said.