ICSAN boss, Owokalade lauds Tinubu over forex reform, fuel subsidy removal

Outgoing President of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Taiwo Owokalade has commended President Bola Tinubu for his administration’s sweeping reforms in the nation’s foreign exchange market and the abolition of the fuel subsidy regime.

Owokalade who stated this on Friday at his last media parley as president of ICSAN, said the actions are expected to enhance currency stability, combat inflation, and tackle corruption in Africa’s most populous nation.

“These are important steps toward currency stability, lower inflation, and reduced corruption in Africa’s most populous country, but this administration must also consider the negative impact of these reforms on the majority of Nigerians by putting in place necessary palliatives.

“The FX unification is important for Nigeria. It has always been difficult for foreign investors to determine the actual value of the Naira with the multiple exchange rates. With the unification, it has now become easy. Though removal of the fuel subsidy comes with its consequences, we can’t run away from the realities.”

Speaking on his achievement as ICSAN president, Owokalade, said there have been activities strategically managed by a committed team, using short-, medium- and long-term approach to position the institute as Nigeria’s leading voice in corporate governance.

He said the activities included implementing a strategic plan to grow the institute, enhancing its brand identity and members’ engagement among others.

Owokalade who was elected president of ICSAN for a two-year term, said through various media parleys, the Institute’s voice has consistently been projected on diverse issues of national interest.

“Since the beginning of this administration in 2021 to the end of April 2023, 102 episodes of 15-minute weekly CGP radio programmes on EKO 89.7 FM have been produced.

“We have also sustained the production of the television version of this programme on MITV which started towards the end of 2020. Since 2021 when I came we have added a total number 96 episodes of 30-minute weekly television programmes on MITV (DSS 255) to the record of our total production, now standing at 130 episodes.

He said under his administration, the issue of staff welfare has been reviewed with staff remuneration advanced to accommodate the debilitating effect of the soaring inflation and thus give workers some measure of reprieve.

On the issue of changing the name of the institute to Chartered Governance Institute of Nigeria (CGIN), Owokalade explained that a Bill for changing the name of the Institute’s name to CGIN with all the necessary incidental amendments has been produced and sent to National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), which has also worked on it.

He also stated that ICSAN has successfully kept running its linkage programme with Babcock Universities, Ilishan Remo, and also signed new Memoranda of Understanding with other top universities in the country.

“We successfully reviewed and updated our Institute’s Qualifying Professional Examinations to ensure it is not only relevant to our environment but also reflects the current trends and developments.

“The Institute has also reached agreement with her publishers, University Press PLC, on provisions for e-copies albeit the modalities are still being formulated.

“We have nurtured and sustained relationships with some institutes with whom we are in the league as leading professional institutes in Nigeria, including Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria. (ICAN), and the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR).