The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), has admonished the Federal Government on the need to revive the culture of saving at least a 0.5 per cent of the gross income from oil operations.
This appeal was part of the recommendations of its 46 Annual Accountants’ Conference Communiqué given to newsmen by the 52nd President of the institute, Deacon Titus Seotan, in Lagos.
Seotan said it was never too late to start saving, as it would help to protect the local economy from the dynamics of globalisation, as he described the 18.3 per cent inflation rate as bad omen, which is affecting every sector while hoping the figure will come down to a single digit.
According to him, Nigerians should refrain from spending huge resources annually on foreign tourism, while historical sites and festivals should be adequately developed, preserved and publicised to elicit the interest of the citizens.
He said there is need for government to set the pace for accountability by periodically and regularly publishing the level of achievement of the goals it set for itself, as it is done in the private sector.
Saying that public sector leaders must engage the citizenry from time to time, imbibe the culture of stewardship reporting and be prepared to held accountable.
He added: “although there is great concern about the growing trend towards public sector borrowing and the desire by the government to discard the cash call model of financing oil exploration, it is hoped that such borrowing by the Joint Venture partners would be optimally done and committed to the purpose of which the loans were taken.”
However, he said government should ensure that other borrowings are judiciously committed to finance infrastructure project.
He encouraged all tiers of government to strengthen their institutions, implement sound internal controls to prevent fraud, waste and abuse, saying they should also embrace good political and corporate governance for the survival and growth of businesses and continuous attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
Said he: “The government should further guarantee the enabling environment for doing business in Nigeria in order to attract desired FDIs into the nation’s economy. Policy stabilisation rather than policy summersault would endear investors to the country and sustain the desired growth of the nation’s economy.”
He said the great efforts being made to diversify the nation’s economy and the recent discovery of huge quantity of nickel in Kaduna are commendable and encouraging.
Soetan said, “while basking in the euphoria associated with nickel discovery, the government should ensure this and other minerals are processed with value added before they are exported. This is to ensure that the nation derives maximum benefits from its natural endowments.”