Financial Reporting: World Bank to Assist Nigeria


By Emele Onu, 06.23.2010 


The World Bank has offered to assist Nigeria develop capacity to regulate financial reporting and also ensure that financial reporting in the country attains international standard.



The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Accounting Standards Board, (NASB), Mr Godson Nnadi, announced the gesture by the World Bank at the 2010 Africa Round-table  conference on Straightening Corporate Financial Reporting in Africa held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently.Nnadi said: “The World Bank has restated its willingness to assist Nigeria in every way possible to ensure that financial reporting practice in the country conforms to international best practices.” 



The NASB boss in his presentation at the conference restated the need for the establishment of an independent accounting and auditing standard setting body for Nigeria and other African nations.He pointed out that the setting up of such a body devoid of undue government interference would enable African countries attains critical economic development goals that will liberate their citizens.



The World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Mr Kenichi Ohashi, said the World Bank is willing to provide the much-needed technical assistance to stakeholders in the continent to upgrade their financial reporting skills to international standard. He added that the financial reporting conference was a platform designed to share experiences with the World Bank and other experts on current financial reporting measures with a view to improving their standards.Nnadi stated that the idea of the conference was largely informed by the need to achieve a higher degree of investor protection and independence of financial regulators in Africa.



Listing some of the challenges facing NASB, he suggested that adequate funding by government and other stakeholders would assist the body to stem the high labour mobility among its technical staff.The NASB boss also regretted inadequacy of technical staff, which he said inhibits standard setting by most accounting standard setting bodies in Africa. He stressed that that the conference, which had the objective of strengthening financial reporting in Africa will be of immense benefit to participating countries.



Commending the non-partisan structure of the NASB, Nnadi contended that an enlarged, unified, and common financial regulator would be quite invaluable in meeting the needs of African countries as in the cases of United Kingdom and Australia.He said Africa and Nigeria require comprehensive statutory accounting and auditing standard setting body as opposed to self-regulation, which runs largely on moral suasion.



Ahead of the impending passage of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Bill currently before the National Assembly, the NASB chief executive commended the World Bank for providing technical assistance for Nigeria and other African countries to attain the global threshold in financial reporting.






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