Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, the 59th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has lamented that one of the challenges facing the accounting profession globally is the attraction of young ones into the profession.
He stated this when he paid a courtesy call on the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri in Yenagoa as part of his activities during the tour of ICAN Bayelsa and District Society. He was received by the Deputy Governor of the State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
He said that the youth no longer find the accounting profession attractive as they now prefer professions like football, music, social media influencing and others that would make them rich overnight.
According to a statement signed by Olubunmi Owolabi, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Okwuosa commended the Bayelsa State Government for its immense contributions to Human Capital Development in the State especially in attracting young indigenes of the State into the Accounting profession.
“But through the ATSWA initiative of the Institute, the Bayelsa State District of ICAN with the support of the state Government has been able to attract many young people into the accounting profession in Nigeria,”
He said the State Government provides scholarships to young indigenes of Bayelsa to write the ICAN Accounting Technicians Scheme of West Africa (ATSWA) examination which is a middle-level Accounting qualification for School Cert and Ordinary National Diploma holders. Graduates of the scheme proceed to write the Professional Examination of the Institute.
Dr. Okwuosa noted that in the last three years of the administration, a total of 126 students have benefitted from the initiative of the State Government’s ATSWA scholarship programme.
“Some of these students have proceeded to the professional examination of the institute and qualified as chartered accountants”, he said.
He advised other State Governors to emulate what Governor Douye Diri has done.
He also thanked the governor for appointing over one hundred and ten Chartered Accountants within the State’s civil service workforce and appealed to him to consider appointing more Chartered Accountants into the service as that is the right thing to do.
This is because according to him “the result of our research shows that there is a positive relationship between having more chartered accountants within a workforce, increased revenue generation and efficiency in service delivery of a state” citing the case of Lagos State government.
Dr. Okwuosa also used the opportunity to inform the Governor of the ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN-AI), which is a framework developed by the institute to measure accountability and transparency in public finance management, stressing that the institute was ready to partner with the state to improve on its performance in the ICAN AI.
In his response, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo on behalf of the state governor expressed appreciation to ICAN for acknowledging the effort of the state in educational empowerment of the youth of which the ICAN ATSWA is a beneficiary.
He stated that the focus of the state is educational development as this will help curb social vices among other challenges faced when the youths are neglected.
He assured that the State will strive to increase the number of Students in the Scheme because an unenlightened society is a gruesome society.