* Offer southern secretariat to PH
Port Harcourt has been chosen as the new centre of the bedrock for a new push in Accounting education in Nigeria. To make this happen, an unprecedented high number of professors of Accounting and Fellows of the profession ensured physical presence in Port Harcourt last week where big decisions and change of guards took place.
The highlight of the new push is the decision to choose Port Harcourt as the city to host the permanent secretariat of the Nigerian Accounting Association (NAA), which is a strong affiliate of te International Association of Accounting Education and Research (IAAER).
NAA announced the offer to the Rivers State University of Education (now Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, IAUE), to host the permanent secretariat, seeing that the former minister of state for education, Nyesom Wike, whom they called a lover of education, is on seat as governor. Indications were that this would go down well with Gov Wike, especially as soon as the elections clear out.
The NAA however bemoaned the non-availability of the subject in 56 Nigerian universities, saying the 45 professors of Accounting in 101 Nigerian universities have been over-worked.
The fellow and outgoing president of the Nigerian Accounting Association, Suleiman Aruwa of the Nasarawa State University in Keffi, who pointed this out in a valedictory speech in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, December 3, 2018, said there have been only 25 inaugural lectures in Accounting by the 45 professors. He said: “NAA is encouraging more scholarship and sponsorship of professional chairs”.
He announced that one of Nigeria’s young but enterprising Accounting professors, Clifford Ofurum of the University of Port Harcourt, has been confirmed by the board of the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER) as Vice President from 2018. He said Ofurum’s candidature attracted overwhelming support from all the professors of Accounting in Nigeria. He said his tenure ensured that NAA is now a force in IAAER.
In his welcome remarks, Ofurum, also the chairman of the local organizing committee (LOC), said Port Harcourt prepared a lot to play host to the NAA members from across Nigeria and that the VC of IUOE was very supportive.
In his own remarks, the VC, Ndimele, said the young university was happy to be associated with the NAA and the hosting, saying the AGM would definitely rob off on the young university.
In his major intervention, the past president of NAA, Prof Mainama, urged the Accounting lecturers and all academics to make sacrifice their watchword, saying those who stayed back to work as teachers with little salaries when others went into banking and oil sectors must be appreciated for the sacrifice.
He mentioned confidence, humility, learning, service, hard work, and performance as key goals every scholar must aim at.
The keynote lecture was on National Corporate Governance Code delivered by the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Daniel Asapokhai, who was represented by the director of technical, Iheanyi Anyahara.
SDGs: accounting teachers redefine research approach
NAA has resolved that the old approach to accounting research is vastly below par in an era where the world’s focus is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It was to this end that NAA themed its 2018 annual conference as: “Accounting Education, Research and Sustainable Development.” This year was hosted by IAUOE.
According to Aruwa, for accounting to meet the target of the (17) SDGs ,government spending, for example, should be subjected to potential multiplier effects like jobs creation factor, potentials to create wealth and lift citizens from poverty. “The greatest challenges accounting has world wide is how we can make accounting relevant to report issues, not of yesterday, but of today and of tomorrow.
“It is not enough (for instance) to say we have spent one billion (naira) to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but it is good enough to say how much employment has been created, how much wealth has been generated, how many people have been lifted out of poverty. Accounting should be able to respond to all these things along with the figures that we churn out for development.”
New Corporate Code unveiled
Meanwhile, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has asked the accounting teachers to promote and carry out studies on the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG).
This plea was conveyed at the conference by the Executive Secretary and CEO of FRC, Daniel Asapokhai, during his paper presentation on the NCCG.
Recall that the National Code was suspended in 2016. The new one is the outcome of the review of the code by a 15-member committee this year.
The new code tries to institutionalise corporate governance and encourage utmost professional practices, especially among public and private companies which, though might be regulated, but whose documents or files do not end on the tables of either the Federal Inland Revenue Service or the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Asapokhai, who was represented by Iheanyi Anyahara, who is a deputy director – Strategy, Organization, Research and Policy – at the FRC, said through the accounting lecturers, knowledge of the code can travel wide and research on it promoted.
“The Code of Corporate Governance is meant for entities in public, private sector. The association (NAA), they disseminate information and knowledge. So we brought it (the Code) to them to be able to be abreast of latest development so that in their research and training, they would be able to bring same to their students and also create opportunity for a lot of wide research in that area. At the end, the council (FRC) would be better having a robust corporate governance in Nigeria,“ he said.
He pleaded with the teachers to be patient with the FRC that earlier failed to unveil the reviewed code and make it available. He said once the executive arm of government gives a new date, the code would be unveiled and uploaded for all to access.
Ofurum emerges new helmsman
At the conference, the association got a new president as outgoing Aruwa handed over to Clifford Obiyo Ofurum. Ofurum is a professor at the University of Port Harcourt. He promised to build on the achievements of Aruwa, especially in working towards having the association chartered and helping members leverage on the opportunities and benefits provided by the IAAER, the global body NAA is a member of.