ICAN seeks solutions to rising inflation, brain drain

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria on Thursday emphasized the need to address hyper inflationary pressures, brain drain and other macroeconomic challenges besetting the country.

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Tijjani Isa, president, ICAN, said this at a press conference to commemorate the annual International Accounting Day 2022.

Isa said the advice had become imperative as economies across the world were facing trying times.

He noted that global challenges had become heightened with developments such as Russia-Ukraine war, climate change, increasing consumer prices, contractions in Gross Domestic Products, trade wars, political tensions, among others.

Isa said at country level, several socio-economic imbalances were biting hard on citizens, with inflation at its highest in 17 years amidst declining purchasing power of citizens.

“To successfully address the problems of inflation, Nigeria must adopt both short and long-term measures,” he said.

The ICAN president stressed the need to revitalize the textile and agricultural sectors with modern technology and adequate financing to meet up with the country’s textile and food demands, and also for exportation purposes.

Addressing the plans to redesign some of the country’s currency, Isa charged the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider the views of various stakeholders.

This, he explained, would ensure that critical issues such as the cost of designing and printing the new currency notes, the timing of the policy, the policy’s likely impact on inflation and exchange rates were satisfactorily addressed.

He stressed the need to find a permanent solution to the foreign exchange crisis if the country was to develop at the desired pace.

On brain drain, he noted that while the phenomenon was not peculiar to Nigeria, deliberate steps must be taken to stem the tide.

“Unfortunately, the quality of our certification makes our members more desirable for jobs outside our shores.

“The weak socio-economic environment of our dear nation has not made it easier to persuade our local talents to stay.

“We, therefore, encourage managers of our economy to create an enabling business and regulatory environment that would elicit professionals’ interests in staying back to build our nation,” he said.

According to him, ICAN is contributing its part in developing the entrepreneurial skills of its members.

“However, an enabling environment is required for professionals to deploy their full potential in job creation and employment generation,” he said.

Addressing the International Accounting Day event, Isa emphasized the need for accountants to take regular walks and eat healthily to tackle some health challenges.

This, he said, would enable them carry on with their unique roles in national and global economy.

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“The profession has evolved since 1494 and accountants are globally acknowledged for the great work they do to make businesses thrive, support the economy, and help people navigate the complexities of finance.

“Accountants are the conscience of society and with this unique responsibility, we lead in entrenching responsible governance in the public and private sectors.

“We champion effective public financial management system as well as best practice in corporate governance, provide indispensable advisory functions to economic players and invaluable information to guide investors.

“Indeed, our expertise is central to the achievement of a prosperous and safe planet,” he said.

He stressed the need for early adoption of the International Sustainability Reporting Standards to unlock the flow of capital into Nigeria for an effective transition to a sustainability-based economy.

Isa noted that at the United Nations Climate Change COP27 Conference in Egypt, the surplus of confusion and deficit of credibility over net-zero assets of non-state entities was discussed.

This, he said, was in sync with the resolutions made at the 52nd Annual Accountants’ Conference that public sector entities must include sustainability activities in their reports as solutions to human challenges of poverty, financial inclusion, inequality and climate change.

He stated that the institute was positioned to ensure that the required competencies were built in this regard. (NAN)