MANAGING Director of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has described the path Nigeria must take to exit from recession as a “path strewn with hard decisions.”
The DESOPADEC boss while speaking during the dinner and awards night organised by the Forum of Accountants of Delta State Civil Service held at Asaba on Sunday, also challenged accountants in the country that Nigerians are looking up to them in navigating the country from its current economic position.
In his remarks at the event, Bashorun Askia represented by Dr. Godwin Adolor, however projected recipes for recovering from the recession which he said include; “Safeguarding and mobilising revenues as well as reprioritising public spending to protect critical development expenditures and stimulate economic activity.”
He explained that, if projections are right, the recession may be worse than the 2016 recession which lasted for nearly a year adding that despite the negative projection, the country will overcome it.
Speaking further, he said: “This is where accountants as managers of resources come in. The nation is looking up to accountants of all hue to set the road map to exit this recession as quickly as possible.
“We cannot underestimate the task ahead. Oil prices are not going to rebound beyond the current level in the near future. And so, oil may not come to our rescue this time.
“The government is looking forward to you as professionals for inputs on creative measures to be taken to not just improve the management of existing resources, but opening new frontiers for income mobilisation.
“For Delta State, we have to be more creative in expanding the tax net to boost internally generated revenue. And this falls squarely on the shoulders of the distinguished professionals gathered here.
“At DESOPADEC where I have the privilege of being the managing director, we have had to deal with increasing demands from our mandate communities in the midst of declining revenue from oil.
“However, we have evolved measures to infuse greater efficiency in the costing of projects. We will continue to engage the communities in prioritising of projects.
“I am glad that today, we all sit together as professionals. What should inspire us is the need to sustain and improve standards in the management of public resources.
“I urge you all to uphold this spirit at all times and cooperate with the administration of His Excellency, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, in ensuring that even while the recession lasts, we are able to mobilise resources for projects execution. We also have to improve our policies to make our state the first choice of investors.
Speaking further, Bashorun Askia also recommended that “every accountant in the state civil service undergo a short or remedial course in Forensic Accounting. It will help us generally in plugging certain unseen loopholes in our every day official duties,” adding that “Training for us Accountants should be purpose specific.”