Accountants urged to imbibe virtues of honesty, transparency

ACCOUNTANTS have been advised to reconnect with the value system and uphold financial ethics.

The Chief Financial Officer of mobile telecommunications company, MTN, in Ghana, Modupe Kadri, gave the advice in Lagos at a conference organised by the Muslim Professional Accountants’ Association of Nigeria (MPAN).

Kadri said accountants should imbibe leadership trait by being honest, humble and transparent in their dealings.

He said: “I think the starting point is that they need to know the roles and responsibilities that leadership has placed on them. They should reconnect with our value system.

“When we were growing up in school, the curricula included all those value systems, but it seems that everything has been thrown into the dustbin, as it were today. Everybody thinks the end justifies the means, whereas you have to be careful about what means you are using to achieve your end.

“You will still find out that when people are placed in a position of responsibility, they abuse it because they have not reconnected with the value system.”

The guest lecturer, Professor Ishaq Akintola, urged the professionals to uphold ethic standard in their dealings.

According to him, accountants hold the key to transparency.

Akintola, who is the director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), said: “They are like the police who see where crimes are committed and take action. But where they look away, then there will be corruption in both high and low places.

“We are very much concerned that all ministries in this country have accountants, all departments and all agencies have accountants and there is widespread corruption because it has become endemic in our country.

“We are very much concerned. Our message to auditors, accountants, is to sit up. The war against corruption is a responsibility of all of us. Unless we cooperate and unite to fight corruption, the government may find it difficult to hold down corrupt people.”

The Head of Assurance Ernst and Young (EY) Nigeria, Jamiu Olakisan, implored MPAN members to equip themselves with 21st century accounting skills in order to be relevant.

MPAN president, Abdul Mumeen Muhibudeen Ajadi, lamented that despite the introduction of the Corporate Governance Code to regulate financial institutions, many companies have refused to abide by the policy.

“Corporate Governance Code can only be fulfilled if the Federal Government stands its ground, else Nigerians will continue to circumvent process and corruption will continue to flourish,” Ajadi said.

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