ICAN visits CU, proposes collaboration
History was made on Tuesday February 13, 2007, when Covenant University played host to a high-powered delegation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The visit was historic for many reasons. Apart from being the first time in the annals of the premier Institute’s history that an incumbent President, six past Presidents and its entire Council members were attending an event outside its annual Accountants Conference, it was also the first time such an array of doyens of the profession were visiting a university in the country.
The visit opened a new vista of collaborative opportunities for the University. The delegation led by the President of the Institute, Dr Catherine Okparaeke, announced its desire to initiate a working partnership that would see the two institutions building skills and expanding the frontiers of learning.
Dr Okparaeke said the partnership was aimed at upgrading the entire professional development and research base in accountancy in the country, adding that the collaboration would see the accreditation of CU’s accounting programme by ICAN such that its graduates would be exempted from some levels of the Institute’s professional examination.
The ICAN boss, who is also an honorary alumna of the University, said ICAN could proudly attest to the excellent pioneering track record of the University in the areas of entrepreneurship education, creation of an information technology laboratory for its Accounting students, inclusion and teaching of oil and gas accounting at undergraduate level as well as teaching of ethics and standards in its accounting curriculum.
Dr Okparaeke, also said that her institute, which has membership of over 22,000 Chartered Accountants and 12,500 Accounting Technicians, is looking forward to the establishment of a base for continuing professional development as she desired that CU introduce a specialized Master of Science (M.Sc) programme in Applied Accounting for ICAN members who do not currently have university education and also for those who desire postgraduate academic qualifications.
While receiving the ICAN delegation in his office, the Chancellor, Dr David Oyedepo, warmly welcome them, acknowledging the professionalism that ICAN has been identified with over time.
The Chancellor, who also acknowledged the pivotal role of ICAN in the development of the nation, said it would take professional bodies like the Institute remaining tireless in the pursuit of professionalism in all aspects of national life and speaking up constructively on national issues for the country to witness the desired changes.
He identified lack of human capital and a pervasive culture of gross mismanagement as responsible for the slow growth of the nation’s economy in recent years.
According to Dr Oyedepo, Nigeria is in its present state of under-development, not for the lack of resources but good management, ethics and human capital, which form the basis for any nation’s wealth.
"Today in Nigeria where we have well-trained human capital, we do not use them. And when we use them, it is often a case of round pegs in square holes. This is why our institution is out to revolutionise education and also raise a new generation of leaders as agents of change," he said.
Dr Oyedepo lamented the passive attitude of public office holders to issues affecting the well being of the people. He said in order to reverse the trend and move the nation forward, that there was need to put people who have the right values, irrespective of ethnicity or religion to pilot the affairs of the country.
He said ICAN as a focus and leading professional body should work out modalities of having acceptable incursions into major policy decisions of government. "Anybody can be a critic, I believe professional bodies like ICAN are best positioned to lead Nigerians to steer the needed change", the Chancellor added.
Earlier in her address at the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan, thanked the president of ICAN for the offer of collaboration and partnership, saying that the collaboration was bound to bring a professional depth into the University’s accounting curriculum and strengthen its research base.
The Vice Chancellor said the University already had a very strong penchant for driving excellence along the cutting edge of learning and in all ramifications as far as its programme was concerned, adding that the proposed collaboration was a very worthy and viable partnership to foster the University’s goal of becoming a corporate university.
She also expressed optimism that the partnership would spark off continuing professional development in the country. "Many a time when we look at the context of professionalism particularly in our nation Nigerian, there’s a very important strand that is missing and that is with respect to standards, value and an ethical base. I am touched and particularly to note that ICAN is one very corporate association that respects all of those standards".
Professor Obayan commended the ICAN President for her dogged commitment in repositioning the Institute and said that she was an embodiment of the new face of ICAN in terms of a new contribution to the human development perspective that the Institute was set to drive.
She also thanked ICAN for giving validation to Covenant University’s professional and academic base through its success in its accreditation exercise conducted last year.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Registrar of Covenant University, Yemi Nathaniel, who extolled importance of the accounting profession, said the profession would remain relevant as institutions and nations continue to get more complex.
He said a nation would lose accountability in stewardship when it fails to properly account for the resources that God has given to it, adding that ICAN through it drive for professionalism had always ensured that the resources of the nation could be properly accounted for.
The visit was also an occasion for outpouring of encomiums on the young visionary University for its giant strides within the short period of its existence. The six past Presidents of the Institute, who were obviously overwhelmed by what they saw, could not hide their feelings as they took turns to praise the University.
Professor Michael Adepoju Adeyemo, one of the founding pillars of the Institute and a pioneer staff of the University of Lagos, was amazed by the CU campus and prayed for the success of the partnership.
Mr E. F. Oke, who said he first entered into the CU campus during the conferment of an honorary doctorate on the ICAN president put his experience thus: "I was totally lost in wonder by what I saw on that occasion and I have never stopped telling anybody who cares to hear that something is happening in Nigeria and I am proud to say Ogun State. I believe this is what will turn this continent around. What is happening in CU is what will turn this race of people around and I congratulate the VC and through her to the Chancellor, for this wonderful vision put into action."
Mr Dele Owolabi, who has a child in the University, extolled the rich spiritual and academic depth of CU curriculum and declared that the University was the best private University in the world. Mr. Soji Alabi agreed with Mr Owolabi added that CU’s neat and serene campus and its dress code for students were also fascinating and innovative.
In the cause of their visit, the ICAN delegation had interactive sessions with University’s Management team and the graduating students of Accounting. They were also given a guided tour round the University campus and the entire Canaan Land.