ICAN Accreditation Team Lauds Standard of Programme at CU
After three days of an intense resource verification exercise by a five-man accreditation panel from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), the preliminary reports of the team has commended the level and depth of resources available in the Department of Accounting in Covenant University.
Addressing the Management of the University at the end of what was considered a peer review exercise, the team leader, Professor Ishola Akintoye said that having done an extensive assessment of the activities in the Department of Accounting, they were satisfied with the structures in place.
Professor Akintoye commended the philosophy of the programme at Covenant University’s Department of Accounting, noting that the philosophy and objectives of the department is in tandem with the prescribed template of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and ICAN.
He noted that the strict adherence to the minimum requirements of NUC and ICAN by the department is worthy of mention as the team was granted unfettered access to the files of students and other admission documents.
In addition, the team applauded the quality of lecture delivery at the disposal of the department. According to Professor Akintoye, “The quality of delivery matters a lot and we are proud of what we saw during our work in the past three days. We asked to be part of the classes we visited and saw the depth and quality in terms of lecture delivery.”
According to the ICAN accreditation team, the minimum benchmark for any accounting related programme to be accredited was that there must be at least four ICAN certified members in the teaching cadre, but Covenant University’s accounting department surpassed this by having 10 chartered accountants in its fold and two adjuncts, who were at the verge of becoming chartered.
They commended the University’s Management policy of sponsoring every faculty to one international and one local conference every year. This they said, would help professionals in the department to keep abreast of international best practice. The team said the department of accounting, academically, was doing great; however, there was need for the leadership of the department to ensure that incoming faculty were not only academically qualified, but also professionally certified.
Professor Akintoye noted that a thorough review of the examination system of the department revealed that the examination questions, scripts and marking guide were in line with the Institute’s standards. The team appealed to the Management to help bolster their capacities in conducting, monitoring and grading examination materials.
Furthermore, he said the quality of project materials after evaluation was breathtaking and impressive, taking into account the fact that it was the project work of first-degree students. According to him, “All elements of a perfectly executed project work were present in all the previous projects submitted to the department, and this is highly laudable when compared with what some institutions of learning accept as projects.”
The team leader said they were impressed with the state of the accounting laboratory and appreciated the quality of software packages that were available for the students to work with. They said that the students could really use them was a delight to the institute and they having the privilege to try them out proved that the laboratory was a place that was actively in use. On why they had to try them out, Professor Akintoye said, “Many schools get the trial version that gets expired after a while, but what we saw in your laboratory was the real thing and that is worthy of emulation by other institutions.”
Other areas of remarkable interest as pointed out by the accreditation team were the library resources of the department, the departmental journals and the validation of the quality of graduates of the department as attested to by the letters from employers of labour, notably the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other financial institutions in the country.
Professor Akintoye rounded off by stating that the whole exercise was to see how much the standards in the Department of Accounting, Covenant University, has improved or dropped since the 2009 accreditation exercise, and they were proud to say that the ante has been raised.
The Head, Department of Accounting, Dr. Francis Iyorha, thanked the ICAN team for their commendations and observations, promising that the department would make adjustments where necessary and improve on its ratings when next the team comes calling.
The Director, Academic Planning Unit, Dr. Akan Williams, said that the University from the B.Sc to PhD levels takes the Entrepreneurial Development Studies (EDS) seriously and that at every level of education in the Covenant University culture the students must master one out of every vocation being taught there, irrespective of the programme of study.
In the same vein, the Director, Centre for Learning Resources (CLR), Dr. Christopher Nkiko, told the accreditation panel that the departmental library requested for by department of accounting was part of the strategic plan, which will address the needs of all colleges, schools and departments in the University.
The Dean, College of Development Studies, Professor Isaiah Olurinola, said that the Department would start driving the policy of ensuring that the professional grade points required of lecturers in the Department of Accounting is attained before the year runs out.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Ayo, commended the peer review mechanism, which is the best way to knowing where we are and how to improve on it. According to him, Management would take all recommendations and advice seriously, and work assiduously to make the practice of the profession better.
Professor Ayo commended the quality of leadership at the helms of affairs in College of Development Studies (CDS ) and the Department. This he said is the reason that the department has been able to do great and wonderfully well.
He noted that no institution is worthy of existence if it cannot affect the nation positively. In his words, “Any nation void of accountability, probity and integrity would experience a dearth in development; thus the importance of an institute like ICAN in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.”
The accreditation panel donated academic and professional journals and CDs to the department as a means of appreciating the good work going on there.
Also present at the meeting were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Taiwo Abioye, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Aaron Atayero, the Registrar, Mr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo, Director, Financial Services, Pastor Deji Okubanjo, Dr. Adeniran Fakile and Dr. Oluku Mukoro.