ICAN clarifies position on ‘stoppage of budgetary allocation to professional bodies’

Op-ed EditorJune 30, 20235 min

The organisation further clarified that despite its position on discontinuing budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils, it does not extend to some regulatory councils that function as parastatals.

 

 

 

ICAN
Innocent Okwuosa, PhD, FCA, President of ICAN,


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has reacted to a reported stoppage by the federal government to the funding of professional bodies and councils, describing it as a perceived misinterpretation of the original intention.

According to a statement by Innocent Okwuosa, President of ICAN, the reported information from the government was not specifically addressed to all professional bodies in the country but to the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology within the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The ICAN President, who noted that since 1990, ICAN has been a self-funded organisation and does not receive any budgetary allocation from the federal government, added that the body welcomes the decision of the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) to discontinue budgetary allocation to Professional Bodies/Councils effective 31st December 2026.

Explaining that ICAN relies on members’ subscriptions, Professional examinations, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and  Faculty programmes’ net fees, other self-financing events and financial support from organisations that identify with the body,  ICAN expressed its belief that all professional bodies should be self-financing organisations. The Institute added that this would assist in bringing down the high cost of public governance, which has been a point of advocacy by ICAN towards discouraging the proliferation of professional bodies.

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“Our attention has been drawn to a news headline on some news media stating that FG will stop funding professional bodies and councils, while others carried it as FG stops budgetary allocation to ICAN and other professional bodies.

Since then, our members have been calling to confirm whether ICAN has been receiving a budgetary allocation from the Federal Government (FG). One thinking along this line is that members of ICAN are being asked to pay subscriptions while the institute has been receiving budgetary allocations from the government.

We observed that this information was communicated through a letter: Ref  DG/BDT/GEN.CORR/2016/XII/3067 dated 26th June 2023, addressed to the Nigerian Council of  Food Science and Technology within the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and  Innovation but not specifically to any professional body. Reading that letter, my understanding is that budgetary allocation will no longer be made to that institution, effective 31 December 2026, the date it will be regarded as a self-funded organisation,” the statement noted.


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“We want to state that once upon a time, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria  (ICAN) did indeed receive an irregular meagre budgetary allocation of between N1 and N5 million a year. In 1989/90 year, ICAN voluntarily returned the cheque for the budgetary allocation back to Federal Government (FG), declaring itself a self-financed organisation.  

I want to categorically state that since 1990 to date, ICAN has been a self-funded organisation and does not receive any budgetary allocation from the FG. ICAN relies on members’ subscriptions, Professional examinations, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and  Faculty programmes’ net fees, other self-financing events example, Annual Accountants  Conference (AAC), as well as financial support from different organisations that identify with the ICAN brand. 

ICAN, however, welcomes the decision of the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) to discontinue budgetary allocation to Professional Bodies/Councils effective 31st December,  2026. We believe that, like ICAN, all Professional Bodies should be self-financing organisations. On no account should budgetary allocation be extended to any professional body. This will assist in bringing down the high cost of public governance, which we advocate for and as well discourage the proliferation of professional bodies.”

 

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The organisation further clarified that despite its position on discontinuing budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils, it does not extend to some regulatory councils as the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) that function as parastatals.

“However, we do not support the discontinuance of budgetary allocations to some Regulatory Councils that function as parastatals example, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC)  and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC). We will advocate for more budgetary allocations to be made to the FRC to enable it to fulfil its many mandates. Similarly, given that climate change and energy transition are now burning global and local issues, the NCCC will need more budgetary allocations to be able to execute the important mandate given to it.  

Finally, we call on all our members not to read meaning into the headline news as there may have been a misinterpretation of the original intention behind the communication on discontinuance of budgetary allocation to professional bodies by the media,” the statement added.

 

 

Op-ed Editor

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