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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:
Corruption and looting of public treasury is a major problem in the public sector accounting. Report from office of statistics Lagos show that our accounting records are balanced in arrears and our financial records are hardly balanced daily, weekly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly basis as appropriate. This was evidenced by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during his first maiden address to the nation immediately he was sworn-in as the President of the federal republic of Nigeria on the 29th day of May 1999. He stressed that accountability, probity and transparency has suffered a lot set-back especially in the civil service. He therefore suggested that some of the best ways to eliminate this ill in the Nigerian public service are;
The effective use of public accounts;
The use of effective legislation;
The effective implementation of government policies programs;
The effective use of auditors of the federal republic of Nigeria among others.
He therefore concluded by saying “when we consider how the public accounting and auditing can grow and develop, we are concerned not only with helping the public accountant or the auditor fill their position, but also with helping the whole economy and the organizational structure grow and develop” (Obasanjo). The concept should therefore make it wise for us to look more closely at the relationship between Nigeria and other countries of the world. And for Nigeria to be recognized as a corrupt-free economy, the accounting profession must be in a position to balance the financial records of the federal government daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly basis. This is because members of the public and the international community want to see results, see the economy grow and the professions produce the final output.
The same goes for other facts of the economy as indicated above. The military system of administration should be thrown to the winds as we have evolved democracy like other developed countries of the world such as United State of America, United Kingdom etc. It was in an attempt to analyze the import of the president‟s address on the 29th May, 1999 that this topic, “the impact of accountant in the implementation of accountability, probity and transparency in the federal civil service” comes to mind.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS:
1. Financial records do not reflect the true and fair view of the accounting records due to the corrupt society.
2. Budgets are never reviewed in time and derivations are not investigated to ensure prompt remedial action which will re direct and re orientates plans towards budgeted levels.
3. The threat to the continual production of qualified accountants who will replace other retrieving hands. The system forms a number of factors like inadequate infrastructures e.g. training materials, library facilities‟ computers etc. necessary for programs thereby leading to a very poor and unrealistic remuneration paid to the practicing accountant in form of salary.
4. Funds are not judiciously expended for the purposes they were outlined for.
5. Another shortcoming is the quota system in the federal services; the quota system has introduced mediocre and unethical practices in the accounting profession in a bid to fill in vacant positions in the federal civil services.
1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
i. To examine the financial records if it shows a true and fair view
ii. To analyze or investigate the budget before they are passed on
iii. To know whether the distribution of funds and resources are judiciously expended
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Has accountants help to review the financial statement if shows a true and fair view
2. Do accountants help in analyzing the budgets before they are passed on
3. Do accountants help in ensuring that the distribution of finds and resources are judiciously expended.
Ho: accountants do not help to review the financial statement to show a true and fair view
Hi: accountants help to review the financial statement to show a true and fair view
Ho: Accountants do not help in analyzing the budget before they are passed on
Hi: accountants help in analyzing the budget before they are passed on
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense help to the policy makers in the federal civil service of Nigeria who will be able to know and assert the adequate role of the public accountant in the service with a view to showing up the programs of accountability, probity and transparency of the present administration.
“Nigeria” for the purpose of this paper means” the Federal Republic of Nigeria including any area outside the territorial waters of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which in accordance with international law has been or may hereafter be designated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria concerning the continental shelf, as an area within which the rights of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with respect to the sea-bed and subsoil and their natural resources may be exercised.” Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999).
The policy makers should see the public accountants as playing the role of a coach who exposes the skills and tactics and allows the players to play the game. This is because in everything an individual or a group of individuals in varying professions, do, there is a reason and purpose. For example, in a private organization this reason or purpose is referred to as an objective or goal. Therefore, government (public service) whose realm of operation is popularly referred to as the public sector has as its objective the governance of her people. This implies the tremendous responsibility to resources and allocates same towards fostering economic growth and improving the standard of living of the citizens of the nation. Again government is empowered by the laws of the land (constitution) to engage in contractual arrangements for the purpose of increasing the resources available to her in order to meet the requirements of governance, since it holds the wealth of her nation in trust for that nation. To this extent, the government of a nation owes her citizens the duty to account for the stewardship in the effective disposition of the resources entrusted to her (This is accountability).
For the government or the public sector to discharge her responsibility or stewardship effectively, there is the need to maintain proper records of the value of all programs, activities and services, synthesize and analyze the effect of government financial transaction, classify, summarize and communicate such information for purposes of future decision-making or assessment of performance.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
For the purpose of this study, the ways of improving the influence of accountants in the office of the accountant general for the federation (OAGF) as well as the influence of accountants in the implementation of best practice in government organization will be a focused point in this study.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The limitations involved in the course of this research included hostility and non-cooperation on the part of some of the respondents, and also the constraint of time was a limiting factor in the course of writing this work.