Nigerian accountants’ body prescribe rethink of ‘governance architecture’ to rein in brain-drain

Nigerian accountants’ body prescribe rethink of ‘governance architecture’ to rein in brain-drain


President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Dr Innocent Okwuosa, has told that the Nigerian government to review its governance architecture in order to stem rising brain drain, also known as the ‘japa’ syndrome, in the country.

Dr Okwuosa says both the public and private sectors of the economy need to undergo a restructuring of their governance architecture to retain the best skills, noting that there is need for the government to administer the collective patrimony of Nigerians with equity, justice, transparency and accountability.

According to a statement signed by ICAN’s assistant director of corporate communications, Olubunmi Owolabi, Okwuosa made the remarks in a speech he delivered at the institute’s 6th Zonal Accountants’ Conference that was held in Edo State in Benin.

The conference’s theme was: Quest for good governance in Nigeria: the chartered accountants perspective.

In his opinion, it is time Nigeria took back its deserving place in the community of nations through deliberate creation of a culture of responsible governance, zero tolerance of corruption and provision of adequate reward for adherence to effective resource management.

He noted that for many years, concerns about poor governance in Nigeria were on the rise, citing the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance for 2022, which placed Nigeria at number 30 out of 54, designating the ranking as deteriorating.

Dr Okwuosa, who described the situation as a sad narrative considering Nigeria’s vast human and natural resource endowments advised the government to tackle the four components of the governance framework.

They are security and rule of law, participation, rights and inclusion, foundations for economic opportunity and human development as a composite if Nigeria is to see significant improvement in her governance ranking, which said weighs down performance in Foundations for Economic Opportunity and Human Development to stem the tide of brain-drain (or japa syndrome) in the country.

He said further that “as Chartered Accountants, our role in ensuring that our nation’s governance improves is pivotal. We are to ensure strict adherence to strong governance processes and sustainable fiscal processes while employing leading practices.”

Also speaking at the conference, the Governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki, who was the guest of honour at the conference, noted that for good governance to be achieved, processes and institutions must produce results that meet society’s needs while making the best use of the resources at their disposal.

He described the theme of the conference as appropriately timed in view of the socio-political state of the country where the expectation of the masses appears to be far from being met as evidenced by the rising cost of living following the withdrawal of fuel subsidy, high interest rate, high foreign exchange rate and so on.

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