Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Federal Government moves to address skill gaps among auditors.

The Federal Government in a bid to ensure a smooth adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards has begun moves to address the skill gaps of auditors in agencies of government.

The move, according to a statement issued by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation on Monday, became imperative as the adoption of the new standards would ensure that the country’s financial statement is prepared in line with international standards.

IPSAS are a well robust, well considered set of accounting standards specifically tailored to the needs of the public sector. The standards help to promote transparency and accountability in government’s public finances.

The country is currently in the process of converting into the cash-basis IPSAS and has plans to implement accrual-based IPSAS across its three tiers of government by January 2016.

The statement signed by the Head Public Relations Unit in the OAGF, Mrs. Florence Dibiaeze-Eke said the office is implementing a manpower and capacity building program to enable auditors cope with the new challenges that would be associated with auditing under IPSAS.

The statement also stated that unless the skills of auditors are effectively developed in line with global best practices, it would be difficult for them to cope with the migration process of IPSAS.

It said since Nigeria cannot remain isolated from the rest of the world, there is need to comply with all relevant stands that promote the comparability of its financial statements with other countries.

This, it added,would help to strengthen domestic and international confidence in public finance management.

Some of the issues to be addressed by the training are misclassifications of accounting transactions, and bridging the knowledge gaps in using the national classification system among others.

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura had said the adoption of the IPSAS would ensure the effective audit of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

He had said since IPSAS was aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the management of public finance, his office would ensure that the knowledge gaps in the public sector would be bridged.

He said, “We are training staff in different parts of the world, like Malaysia as regard to IPSAS. And we also want to partner with ICAN to provide more training for our auditors.

“It is important to us to get it right, because we want to stay ahead and not be coming from behind.”


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