The Sokoto state government has disagreed with the recent ranking of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) which rated it low in terms of accountability.
Speaking at the stakeholder’s forum on ICAN Accountability Index for Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamafara state, the ICAN District Chairman, Ibrahim Alkali said the three states were lagging behind in the area of accountability.
The 2019 ICAN accountability index positioned Sokoto and Kebbi as 20th, 11th, which the chairman explained was because of nondisclosure of financial records by the two states.
However, Zamfara state which was ranked 16th in 2018 had jumped to 13th in the 2019 index.
Alkali noted that the states were hoarding vital documents containing their fiscal expenditure against the public.
He stated that the forum was meant to correct grey areas so that the states would benefit from the World bank’s “free money.”
Says “we’re rated best by World bank”
However, in an interview with newsmen, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal disagreed with the ranking, demanding to know the parameters used by ICAN to reach its conclusion.
Represented by the Secretary to the Sokoto State Government, Sa’idu Ubandoma, said that “SIFTAS which is the World Bank assessing parameters has ranked all the state governments in terms of transparency and accountability and the Sokoto state came first.
“Therefore which one is more important, ICAN that is just one of the accounting bodies in the country or SIFTAS, which is the World Bank accounting tools,” the Governor said
He added that ICAN did not approach the states to get whatever they need to do the ranking, stating that all that they require, including the book of account and budget of the state, were there on the State government website.
Tambuwal noted that the state was lagging behind in terms of chartered accountants, saying in the whole Ministry of finance there was only one member of ICAN.
He assured ICAN of the state government support to increase their members in the state.
He said that the New Nigeria Development Company of northern governors was spearheading the training program for indigenes of the region to qualify in accounting, banking, stock brooking among others.
It could be recalled that the state has won over USD 6 million from the World Bank for being the most transparent and accountable state.