How ICAN’s Monopoly On Accountancy Profession In Nigeria Was Broken – Sosanya
How ICAN’s monopoly on accountancy profession in Nigeria was broken – Sosanya

A Pioneer Father of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Mr Omooba Olumuyiwa Sosanya, has told Nigerians how the cabals in a sister professional body tried in vain to protect the monopoly of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), on the accountancy profession in Nigeria.

He revealed this in a review of his book titled “Revolution of Accountancy Profession in Nigeria” by Segun Ayobolu during the launch of the over 400-page, 21 chapters historic piece in Abuja. Ayobolu noted that despite the many flaws of the military governments in Nigeria was ironic that it was a military regime that broke the monopoly of the Institute of Chartered Accountant Of Nigeria (ICAN) on the accountancy profession by signing into law, another professional body poised to broaden the scope of Accounting, give it more professionalism and open up the space for more aspiring Nigerians to join the league of professional accountants.

According to the reviewer, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) was formed in 1979 by Omooba Olumuyiwa Sosanya and two of his colleagues to destroy alleged regressive grip of ICAN on the accounting profession in Nigeria. In other to achieve this, Sosanya sponsored a private bill before the National Assembly, where the bill passed the public hearing stage, despite stiff opposition mounted against tits passage.

“The battle was tougher in the upper chamber, it took 20 months after the House of Representatives had passed the bill before it could be read for the second time in the Senate. This eventually led to the abortion of its journey as it could not reach the public hearing stage before the expiration of the Assembly the next day.

“ICAN bigwigs continued to lobby military governments against the recognition of ANAN. Finally, General Ibrahim Babangida signed the ANAN Decree 76 into law on 25th August 1993. This marked the ushering in of a new more vibrant and qualitative era into the evolution of accountancy in Nigeria.

“ICAN did not relent in its pursuit of getting ANAN proscribed by approaching Gen. Sani Abacha to repeal the establishment Decree, rather the President congratulated the body in 1994 for the promulgation of the Decree but advised its members to demonstrate maturity as regards the attitude of a sister body,” Ayobolu said.

How ICAN’s monopoly on accountancy profession in Nigeria was broken – Sosanya

Malam Sidi Ali who is One of the few surviving members of the Second Republic in the House of Representatives, gave a vivid account of the journey of the ANAN bill. He disclosed that there were cabals that did not want the bill to be signed, they were bent on maintain the status quo. We found out that was a cabal that don’t want anyone in that profession. Why, we kept on wondering only to find out that kind of racket in that profession. We found out that the top brass of ICAN was coming from one State. It was unbelievable when we discovered that a Professor of Accountancy from the prestigious University of Calabar sat and failed the ICAN exam, this was a Professor that was producing accountants, how could he have failed the ICAN examination?

“As Chairman of the Committee treating the bill, some lawmakers told me that MKO Abiola and Akintola Williams wanted to come and visit me but I refused. I declined because there is no way anyone seeing them coming into my office or house would not insinuate that I have been bribed, and you know we were in the era of Ghana Must go. Many of us in the lower chamber believed that the battle to create ANAN was not only moral but it became a religious obligation to us. The first challenge was in the Senate but there are many who felt justice must be done.

When he was asked what readily came to his mind when attempts were made to wipe away his contributions to the body he helped founded and nurtured, Sosanya told journalists “Nothing came to my mind”. There was no need for any bitterness because he is a fulfilled man and that the sad development could probably be the reason why he wrote the book, to keep the record straight, he said.

“For whatever happens, whoever reads that book will know how ANAN came into existence. For instance, in 1994 during an encounter with the then ICAN president, I think its Alhaji Ismail, he was then the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, he said ANAN is Sosanya; Sosanya is ANAN, that was documented in the book. So whatever anyone could say, with all modesty, “I made ANAN what is it and there’s nobody who can erase that history and that is what that book is all about. The title could have been history of Accountancy in Nigeria but due to the circumstances surrounding the way it came, the struggles, it was like a war and that is why it came out as Revolution of Accountancy profession in Nigeria.

How ICAN’s monopoly on accountancy profession in Nigeria was broken – Sosanya

Former Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who chaired hough he was represented by Yinka Ajayi, a member of the House of Representatives challenged Nigerians not to take their freedom for granted. “You have to believe, you need to struggle and acquire freedom,” he was quoted as saying.

Other personalities at the event held at the prestigious Musa Yar’Adua Center, Abuja include members of the National Assembly, Senators, Anthony Adefuye, Rufai Anga, Gbenga Ashafa, Alh. Nasir Muhammed, who represented the Minister of Women Affairs, Republic of Benin Senior Minister Dr. Abddoulaye Bio Tchane (Guest Speaker), Chief Adolo Okotie-Eboh, Usman Naganga and Dele Oshinowo. Others include the representative of the governor of Lagos State, Muritala Aliyu former Transport Minister, who represented Geneal Ibrahim Babangida, Dr. Abisoye Alabi, Umaru Dembo, who was the Minister of Petroleum during the regime of Gen Sani Abacha and now Director General Buhari Support Group Center among several others.

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