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By NBF News
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Retired Maj-General Sebastian Owuama, outgoing president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), has urged accountants to be agents of transformation in the new political dispensation.

Owuama made the call in his valedictory address and the investiture of Professor Francis Ojaide as the 47th President of the institute on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, accountants are critical tools needed to push the country to greatness in view of the level of transparency in the profession. 'To this main effect, I urge all the accountants to dedicate themselves to duty calls and rolls of this great country,'Owuama said.

He also urged the new president of ICAN to continually defend and uphold the cherished values of the institute and the discipline associated with the accounting profession. Owuama said there was remarkable improvement in the institute's finances due to aggressive subscription and debt recovery drive during his tenure.

'The Treasury group of the institute was able to negotiate for rates as high as 12 per cent at sovereign risk, a level which is well above prevailing markets rates. More importantly, short term investments, as represented in fixed deposits, grew from N334 million to over N970 million, representing a growth of about 190 per cent during the 46th presidential year,' he said.

According to him, the institute blazed the trail in democratic governance when it conducted its 2011 elections to council through electronic voting. 'We commend this novel election process to the larger Nigerian Society, especially for the benefit of Nigerians in Diasporas who may wish to vote in the 2015 general elections. We are prepared to share our experiences in this regard with the Prof Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),' he said.

Owuama said that his tenure also introduced E-settlement system and cultured human resources management, among others. The new president of the Institute, Prof. Ojaide, in his inaugural speech, advised President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors to create good working relationship with ICAN.

According to Ojaide, no country will make positive impact on policy decision without seeking the advice of professionals and professional bodies.