The Executive Director, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Daniel Asapokhai, has bemoaned the dearth of accounting professionals, noting that the Council is currently working in collaboration with other academia to commission studies that would boost the profession in Nigeria.
Asapokhai, while speaking at KPMG CFO Forum, in Lagos recently, said the country does not have the number of accountants that would drive its economic growth.
The observation comes as the Council disclosed that it will soon reintroduce the controversial the National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG), which was suspended last year in line with the Federal Government directive.
According to him, the Federal Government through the Council is revisiting the suspended harmonised NCCG, and will soon come up with an exposure draft of the framework for discussion within the next six months.
He said: “In terms of revisiting the code, the work has started; the board committee to supervise that work has been set up. They have had their first meeting and understanding the scope of work that needs to be done.”
Asapokhai explained that the Council plans to set up a technical committee that will do a lot of detailed work around the code.
“A lot of work went into the suspended code, so we are hoping that they can speedily resolve a number of funny areas and re-expose. I think within six months we should be at a position where we can expose the document for consideration,” he said.
With regard to the shortage of accountants, Asapokhai noted that of the 60,000 accountants operating in Nigeria, 55,000 are resident in Lagos, adding that the profession needed to be balanced in terms of distribution.
“What we are doing is commissioning a number of studies to look at how we can get a number of academic teams that will look at how many accountants we need to drive the economy. So we are hoping to get research-based answers to that question.
“We will also look at distribution… what do we need to do to ensure that in our major commercials centres, we have the right number and quality of professional accounting skills. It is not only in accounting, we are also looking at actuaries.”
Speaking on the topic: “Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria – Strategic Direction and Priority Actions for the Near Term,” Asapokhai said the Council has identified four key areas to improve its operations.
One of the areas, according to him, is to work with primary regulators such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Pension Commission (PENCOM), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), and others to help push its agenda.