Press Release: – Our attention has been drawn to a news headline on some news media stating that FG will stop funding of professional bodies and councils, while others carried it as FG stops budgetary allocation to ICAN and other professional bodies.

Since then our members have been calling to confirm whether ICAN has been receiving budgetary allocation from the Federal Government (FG). One thinking along this line is that members of ICAN are being asked to pay subscription while the institute has been receiving budgetary allocations from government.

We observed that this information was communicated through a letter: Ref DG/BDT/GEN.CORR/2016/XII/3067 dated 26th June, 2023 addressed to Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, within the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation but not specifically to any professional body. Reading that letter, my understanding is that budgetary allocation will no longer be made to that institution effective 31 December, 2026, the date it will be regarded as a self-funded organisation.

We want to state that once upon a time, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) did indeed receive irregular meagre budgetary allocation of between N1 and N5 million a year.

In 1989/90 year, ICAN voluntarily returned the cheque for the budgetary allocation back to Federal Government (FG) declaring itself a self-financed organisation.

I want to categorically state that since 1990 to date, ICAN has been a self-funded organisation and does not receive any budgetary allocation from the FG. ICAN relies on members’ subscription, Professional Examination, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Faculty programmes’ net fees, other self- financing events example Annual Accountants Conference (AAC) as well as financial support from different organisations that identify with the ICAN brand.

ICAN however welcomes the decision of the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) to discontinue budgetary allocation to Professional Bodies/Councils effective 31st December, 2026.

We believe that like ICAN, all Professional Bodies should be self-financing organisations. On no account should budgetary allocation be extended to any professional body. This will assist in bringing down the high cost of public governance which we advocate for and as well discourage the proliferation of professional bodies.

However, we do not support the discontinuance of budgetary allocations to some Regulatory Councils that function as parastatals example the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) and National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).

We will advocate for more budgetary allocations to be made to the FRC to enable it fulfil its many mandates. Similarly, given that climate change and energy transition are now burning global and local issues, the NCCC will need more budgetary allocations to be able to execute the important mandate given to it.

Finally, we call on all our members not to read meaning into the headline news as there may have been misinterpretation of the original intention behind the communication on discontinuance of budgetary allocation to professional bodies by the media.

Innocent Okwuosa PhD, FCAPresident, ICAN

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