Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has identified effective public financial management systems and strong political leadership as a way of achieving better accountability in Nigeria.
The Governor expressed this view at the retreat of the forum of the Accountants-General in Nigeria tagged “Change In Nigeria’s Accountability And Transparency: Towards Professionalism And Good Governance”, held at Epe over the weekend.
Ambode, represented at the event by the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, noted that the choice of the theme of the retreat gives him the conviction that the current mindset of Accountants-General is aligned to the ever-evolving and demanding requirement of current political and professional realities.
He said globally, more countries are beginning to adopt open governance arrangement aimed at promoting transparency, curbing corruption and empowering their citizens, adding that one of the ways to achieving good governance is by scaling up government processes through improved technology.
He disclosed that Lagos State pioneered the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) implementation as well as the Central Billing System and a Cashless Payment System for collection of government revenue in public accounting to minimize revenue leakages and bring accounting systems to conform to global best practices.
While noting that Accountants-General occupy one of the most sensitive and demanding positions in the public service, the Governor expressed the hope that the communique that would be presented by the participants at the end of the retreat would help reshape the direction of public accountability and transparency in Nigeria.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who was represented by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, in her goodwill message said progressive reform initiatives such as the Treasury Single Account (TSA), International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) are key in driving the economic growth of the country.
She urged all States of the federation to join hands in paddling the boat of fiscal sustainability to greater heights.
The Minister reiterated that strong financial management, transparency, accountability are essentials for a sustainable long-term economic growth that the citizenry are clamouring for.
She tasked accountants to strive for good governance in the country by integrating institutions and individuals who work in public sector entities to act in best public interest at all times.
The Chairman forum of Accountants-General who also doubles as the Accountant-General of Osun State, Mr. Akintayo Alaba Kolawole said good governance in form of accountability and rendering of stewardship are the ingredients that build citizens’ confidence in government.
He noted that there is a dire need to create aggressive public awareness among all levels of the society for a better understanding of their role in the development of the nation.