I have accepted to speak at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)’s Accountants Conference which is scheduled on Nov 17/18 2020. The first professional body which I joined upon starting my bank job, a few days after NYSC, was ICAN. I have read all the profiles of bank executive directors and CEOs and noticed one common factor: most were chartered accountants. So, I reasoned, if this bank job was to take me to the top, passing ICAN must be part of the immediate playbook.
I went through the Foundation level. Did well on the Intermediate level, and was in the Professional Exam 1 when I left banking back to electrical engineering. Largely, the ICAN certification was never to practice accounting. I saw it as an exam which could be passed after diligent studies, and in a banking ecosystem, though in the IT business, having that would not hurt.
Why this torture? Diamond Bank was paying for everything. They paid for the Cisco and Microsoft certification exams. They paid for the ICAN Intermediate exam which I had added in case I had to remain in Nigerian banking. (My matrix of Nigerian bank executives showed most had ICAN; so, I assumed, to get to the top, it made sense to get mine. I never completed ICAN before I left Nigeria. But I did well in the Foundation and Intermediate phases.) Diamond Bank HR people liked me. I had my nickname “Prof” which Ohis Ohiwere (now an Executive Director with GTBank) gave me while in the training school.
I see accountants as the high priests of markets because they help nations understand the pulse of the private sector. I look forward to Nov 17.