The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has pledged to collaborate with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in providing professional training for students from the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the Governing Council of ICAN, at the NDDC new headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, observed that ICAN has the capacity to train Niger Delta students at post graduate level.
He said: “We have decided to train our students in institutions in the Niger Delta region and ICAN will be one of them. We have identified some of the universities.”
Akwa said that it had become necessary to use our universities and sponsor more students for post graduate studies, rather than sponsor a few students on foreign scholarships for post graduate studies.
He noted that as part of the efforts to assist the universities, the NDDC was building hostels across the region, one of which was that of the University of Uyo, which would be completed and commissioned next month.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer gave credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for encouraging the Commission to work towards the completion of all its projects in the Niger Delta region.
He said that the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari was meant to establish where NDDC was coming from in order to set the template for the future.
Akwa noted that the forensic audit had already started yielding fruits as many contactors returned to site to complete their projects. He added that after the Forensic Audit, the NDDC would be better focused to deliver on projects that would have direct economic benefits for the people.
He assured the ICAN delegation that NDDC would sponsor members of the institute for the 51st Annual Conference of ICAN in November, noting: “Accountancy is interdisciplinary because when two or more people are gathered, an accountant must be there.”
Earlier in her address, the 57th President of ICAN and the leader of the delegation, Mrs. Comfort Olu Eyiteyo, acknowledged the promptness of President Buhari in stepping into the NDDC situation, lamenting that the Commission that was established to serve as an intervention agency was, unfortunately, badly managed for several years.
She said that with Akwa in the saddle of leadership things would change for the better. According to her: “We trust that the narratives of this Commission will change positively. Bearing in mind that you are the product of two very noble professions. We caution you to be vigilant and courageous. The reputation of the Accountancy and Legal profession will be weighed by how you perform. We wish you success in the noble plans you have envisioned for NDDC.”
Eyiteyo affirmed: “We will continue to support the Commission through our commitment to accountability and transparency in the economy. As you may be aware Sir, your Institute is championing adherence to international best practice in Public Financial Management (PFM) through the ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN-AI).”
She said further: “We are always willing to collaborate with you on relevant areas including capacity building for finance professionals in the Commission.”
Eyiteyo appealed for NDDC’s assistance and support for the Institute’s plan to establish an Entrepreneurship Endowment Fund and construction of an Entrepreneurship Centre for ICAN members, remarking: “We are poised to create Chartered Accountants who are job creators and not just job seekers.”