The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants on Thursday said it would collaborate with the Federal Government to tackle some of the accounting gaps in the public sector.

It also called on professional accountants to take the lead in the current reforms being carried out by the government in the management of public finances.

The Head, ACCA Nigeria, Mr Tom Isibor stated these in Abuja while speaking at a forum with finance and human resource directors.

The theme of the event was “Driving collaboration to develop finance capacities in the public sector.”

He said there was a need for professional accountants to drive financial management reforms in the public sector as it would enable the government to institutionalise fiscal discipline, transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public finances.

He said, “Our strategy in ACCA is to develop partnership and we work with our key partners.

“What we want to achieve from this meeting is to understand what are the gaps in the public sector and how we can work together to address those gaps.

“Many of the participants at this event have acknowledged that we have a capacity gap and we need to close this. It might be tough but we believe it’s not insurmountable. It is from knowing where the gaps are that we can be able to resolve them.”

Also speaking during an interview on the sidelines of the event, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Ibrahim Arabi said that the move by the ACCA to tackle accounting gaps in the public sector would further strengthen the public financial management reforms.

He said, “The BPSR has developed a document called the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms and one the aspirations of the document is getting the Nigeria public sector to be among the first 20 economies in the world by 2025.

“But going by the modern trend in governance, it is not possible for government alone to drive this programme.

“So the coming in of organisation like ACCA to collaborate with government in improving the quality of service delivery will lead to the full actualisation of the aspirations of our national strategy on public sector reforms.”

He said the BPSR would work with ACCA to further strengthen the reforms in the public sector particularly in the area of ethics and professionalism.

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine said that his office would collaborate with ACCA to strengthen public sector audit.

This, he said, was vital to enable accountants to regain trust due to the poor perception from the public about the tendency of members of the profession to commit fraud.