Ekiti, Lagos, Osun score ‘excellent’ in ICAN’s audit ranking

••• Seven have ‘good’, 26 others ‘fair’
••• Institute notes improved compliance

Only three of Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) scored ‘excellent’ in ICAN’s rating on states’ compliance with audit rules as of October 2023.

According to the accountability index of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, seven states scored ‘good’, while 26 others were only rated ‘fair’.

ICAN commenced audit rating for states in 2014 to assess financial management and accountability of state governments.

Ekiti, Lagos, and Osun scored ‘excellent’.
The seven, which scored ‘good’, are: Ogun, Kaduna, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Rivers, and Anambra.

States with a ‘fair’ ranking include: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

The assessment focuses on compliance with audit rules and regulations and the quality and timeliness of audit reports, resulting in a rating of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor for each state.

According to Innocent Okwuosa, the 59th president of ICAN, “the rankings suggest an overall trend of improving compliance with the constitutional requirement to audit state and local council accounts since the introduction of the ICAN accountability index. However, significant variation still exists among states, highlighting the need for continued efforts to ensure consistent compliance and strengthen accountability practices across all states in Nigeria.”

He said the ranking provides valuable insights into progress and areas that require further attention.

A former ICAN president and managing partner of Ahmed Zakari & Co, Ismaila M. Zakari, drew attention to the index at the Audit Reporting Workshop of FrontFoot Media Initiative in Lagos on October 25 and 26, 2023.

Managing Director of FrontFoot Media Initiative, Emeka Izeze, said his organisation conducts the audit reporting training to contribute to media capacity building and enhance accountability by state and local government officials.

FrontFoot has held workshops in Benin, Awka, Abuja, and Lagos.

Participants “learn how and where to locate the relevant reports, interpret the material, and write engaging news stories and features that will enlighten, stimulate, and empower the electorate, and discourage impunity”, he said

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