Former acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Sarah Alade, has challenged accountants nationwide to equip themselves with requisite financial technology (Fintech) skills to function well in the present day dynamic world.
She spoke at the weekend during the 2019 dinner and awards night of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN in Lagos where the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Deloitte Nigeria and KPMG Professional/Advisory Services were honoured for their contributions to the profession.
According to her, following the 2014 prediction of The Economist that accountants and auditors were one of the top three professionals most likely to be replaced by robots in the next 20 years, it behooves the institute to equip members with digital skills to enhance information, technology knowledge sharing and financial service delivery to firms and individuals.
Alade noted that financial technology would provide opportunities for accountants and finance experts to secure licences for banking, asset and pension management as well as insurance, micro-finance and payment systems.
Addressing the gathering as special guest of honour, the CBN ex-chief executive submitted that accountants were also key to ensuring compliance with various regulatory requirements and financial reporting standards, hence "Fintech will change Nigerians in business and finance for ever."
The idea of financial technology services, she observed, would be provided by software at a much lower cost.
"For accountants to be relevant and indispensable in this digital world, they must possess the skills and knowledge that are relevant to employers' needs. ICAN must nurture awareness on existing technologies and apply emerging digital platforms, capabilities, practices, strategies and culture, as fintech would remain part of the nation's economy and accountants' role is intrinsically linked to it."
In his remarks, the institute's president, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, recalled that since its inception in 1965, ICAN had grow in leaps and bounds, boasting of 46,000 professional members nationwide and contributing significantly to the growth of the country's financial sector."