Senate considers bill to modernise ICAN, increase fine for malpractice

Senate Senate

The senate has passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the act establishing the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

The bill seeks to modernise ICAN’s practice, and increase fines for malpractice in the body, to prevent loss of billions of naira.

The upper legislative chamber passed the bill for second reading after Adeola Olamilekan, senator representing Ogun west, led the debate on Wednesday.

Olamilekan said since the ICAN law was enacted in 1965, the accounting practice has undergone a series of developments.


“There is a need to situate accounting practice to encompass developments since 1965 and to bring the practice to what obtains in other jurisdictions, hence the need to amend Section 1,14, 19 and inserting a new section 15, all of which deals with issues of accounting practice and all areas that a chartered accountant is entitled to practice under the act,” he said.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, corporate governance of modern professional accountancy organizations has evolved, hence the need to amend parts of Sections 2, 3 and 6 and insert new Sections 24 to 26.

“For instance, Section 3 of the Act is proposed for amendment because the Council of ICAN started off with a twenty-member structure in 1965 when membership was just 250.


“The number was increased to twenty-five subsequently in accordance with the provisions of the Act. With membership strength of over 53,000 today, the need to increase the membership of the Council to 36 has become compelling.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, there is a need to enhance the capacity of the Institute to carry out its mandate in the area of regulation and compliance. This has necessitated the need to amend sections 7, 8,11,12, 16, 18, 20 and 21.

“A glaring example for amendment is Section 18(5).

“In the 59 years old Act, a proven infraction on summary conviction of any of the offences attracts a paltry N100 fine while a conviction on indictment attracts only a fine of N1,000.


“You will agree with me that these sanctions for offences that could lead to loss of millions or billions of naira, is not a deterrent to malpractices.”

Olamilekan added that the bill seeks to strengthen the institute’s structure and enhance its regulatory powers and professional integrity.

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